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Thursday, December 13th 2012

To follow us on Twitter, use the handle @MooneyShow, and to follow Brenda Donohue use the handle @BrendaDonohue

On today's Mooney,

“Please Sir, I want some more” – we bring you a sneak preview of the musical Oliver, with guest reviewer Roddy Collins. And Dermot O’Neill will be in studio with top tips for protecting your plants against frost!


The new production of Oliver! opened in Dublin last night, and stars Neil Morrissey as Fagin. We sent Roddy Collins along to take a look, and today he comes into studio to tell us what he made of it!

Bewley's Christmas Competition

This Christmas, Mooney and Bewley’s Hotel in Ballsbridge are giving one lucky family the opportunity to put their feet up for the festive season. You won’t be wasting your time scrubbing, peeling or stuffing, instead you’re Christmas dinner will be served up to you, allowing you to enjoy the company of your nearest and dearest.

We had hundreds of entries to the competition but today we have a winner. The winning family are the Oglesby’s from Tallaght, as nominated by 15-year-old Andrew, who sent us this winning entry:

I'm Andrew, I'm 15, and I'd love my mam to win the break over Christmas, I really think she could do with the pampering. For the last four years, my mam's been fighting cancer and it's looking like this Christmas could be her last one, and I think this could be the best present for her and our family. My mam's the bravest person I know and if I won this competition it would mean she could have the best Christmas ever. Her name is Marie. Thanks.

From left to right: Tracy Moran from Bewley's Ballsbridge, Ciaran (6), Brenda, Mum Marie, Lucia (4), Andrew (15) and Joanne (11)

So Brenda Donohue went to Tallaght to meet Andrew, Marie and the rest of the Oglesby family...

Letters From Overseas Listeners

Yesterday we played a few Christmas messages from Mooney listeners all around the world. And we told you to get in touch to tell us where you listen from. Well last night the Mooney inbox went into meltdown as the emails flooded in, telling us the weird and wonderful places that you’re listening to us from. So we rang a few more listeners earlier this morning who wanted to send a Christmas message home - we hear from some of you listening to us from Iraq, New Jersey, The Gambia and Canada. And please keep your overseas Christmas greetings coming in - send them to mooney@rte.ie, and please include a contact phone number!

Gardening With Dermot O'Neill: Protection From Frost

At this time of year people’s attention is turned towards Christmas, but that doesn’t mean there is nothing to be done in the garden! In actual fact, with the weather getting colder, there is a lot to be done to protect your plants...

Dermot's tips to protect plants from the cold:

  • Horticultural fleece can be bought in rolls, rolled out over plants and needs to be pinned down. It is also available in bags - you can put them around your plants in pots or in the ground. This will stop wind burn which comes in various forms – caused by frost or cold wind.
  • You can also protect the plants by putting mulch around them – put a thick layer of homemade garden compost as a mulch around the base of a plant; any dead leaves hanging around will also do!
  • Alternatively you can use bubble wrap - this is good because it doesn’t disintegrate and it is very effective in stopping frost damage. However, fleece can breathe, bubble wrap can’t. This means wet can get stuck and cause a fungus. Bubble wrap is very good for protecting your terracotta pots (which are porous - you don’t want them absorbing too much moisture, which will freeze in cold weather and break your pot!)

Is there anything else you can do to protect particularly vulnerable plants?

  • If you have a bay tree, for instance, that is in its first year or two it is very likely it could be killed off in cold weather, so you could by some pipe lagging and wrap it around the stem of the tree.
  • You should avoid walking on frosty lawns especially in the early morning - this could cause damage which will show up in Spring as brown marks across your lawn. If you have to walk across a lawn put down a plank (to spread the weight!)
  • In terms of storing bulbs, if you have lifted your dahlias and put them in the shed, try and position them so they are not against the wall of the shed; you can also cover them in bubble wrap.

What about house plants in this cold weather…

  • House plants of course will be nice and warm in the house - be sure not to leave them behind a curtain, this is the coldest part of the house. Also, don’t give them cold water! Use tepid water.
  • Usually you can let them go slightly dry. If they are too dry they shrivel, and if too wet they collapse.
  • Never put them near a radiator/ fire/ on the TV. They don’t like the heat.
  • They like bright and cool rooms, but they don’t like drafts.

The plant that Dermot mentions as being a particularly special Christmas buy is called the Buddha's Hand citrus plant. This is a fragrant citron variety whose fruit is segmented into finger-like sections in the shape of what Buddha’s hand looks like when it is praying - five fingers all joined together. The origin of the Buddha's hand plant is traced back to Northeastern India or China about 1,000 years ago. It is not very easy to get hold of, but it is available from the Johnstown Garden Centre in Naas, Co. Kildare.

K Club Wedding Competition

About 22,000 couples get married in Ireland every year – and here on Mooney we’re going to make 2013 lucky for some with a fantastic wedding competition we’re going to be running in January in conjunction with the RTÉ Guide and The K Club! To find out more, tune in, and get a copy of the RTÉ Guide, on January 14th!

Win €1000 with Mooney's Money!

Today, you can win €1000 - just answer a simple question by phone or text for your chance to win. Click here to find out today's question...

The Island Landscape

RTÉ Television, in association with Mooney, is currently producing a major new documentary series on the history of the Irish landscape. The series will tell the story of how our landscape was created after the last major climatic event – the end of the last Ice Age, over ten thousand years ago.  And we want your help! Would you like to contribute video towards the TV series? Click here to find out what we're looking for!

Today's Podcasts

Review Of Oliver!
Bewley’s Christmas Competition: Winner Announced
Letters From Overseas Listeners
Gardening: Dealing With Winter Frost

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