Saturday at Cashel House Gardening Course

by Ciaran Burke
COPYRIGHT CIARAN BURKE 201

TABLES SET FOR BREAKFAST

The sun has been shining all day. The weather has been great for us at Cashel House, as usual. There has been days here in the past where we have had coffee and scones laden with home made jam and whipped cream while sitting on the front lawn and basking in sunshine while the rest of the country was under a deluge. Not just once that it has happened but many times. We would have been sitting at the end of an enjoyable day and people would phone home to various parts of the country and get  terrible weather reports while we sat in the sun. There really is something special about Cashel in Connemara.

The ambiance is of laid back elegance, a refinement from a past age. One would not be surprised to meet Ms Marple sipping tea by the fireplace or see Hercule Poirot swinging his walking stick after a vigorous walk through the fine gardens.We woke this morning as the light filled the garden and took a stroll outside. The scent from the Clematic armandii rambling on the front wall was starting to fill the sun filled garden. The white tulips shook gently in the breeze and the cockrel crowed to greet the day.

COPYRIGHT CIARAN BURKE 2011

CLEMATIS ARMANDII FLOWERING ON FRONT OF CASHEL HOUSE

COPYRIGHT CIARAN BURKE 201

FRONT LAWN WITH WHITE TULIPS THIS MORNING

COPYRIGHT CIARAN BURKE 201

FRONT DOOR TO THE HOTEL

We had breakfast with the early risers ffrom the garden group. The breakfast menu is superb. Not many hotels can offer trout or kippers or possibly liver for breakfast. I stuck with srambled egg and locally sourced bacon and sausages and enjoyed freshly squeezed orange juice. Afterwards I stil found room to enjoy a slice of raisin bread with home made raspberry jam.

COPYRIGHT CIARAN BURKE 201

BREAKFAST MENU

After breakfast I set up classroom in the wooden building, admiring the floriferous Kerria japonica ‘Flore Plena’ as I unloaded pots compost, plants and other paraphernalia from the car. When the group had gathered we started the day with a slide presentation before coffee break which was followed by a walk in the garden, admiring magnolia and camellia trees and shrubs on the way. next was lunch, I enjoyed a dressed sorrel salad with parmesan shavings, Irish stew with garlic toastlets and delicious sauteed cabbage flavoured with caraway seeds. This was followed by strawberries and crushed merengue with whipped cream. Finely chopped mint leaves were mixed through the cream giving this dish an extra bit of delight.

COPYRIGHT CIARAN BURKE 201

CLEMATIS ARMANDII FLOWERS

After lunch we had a practical session where we sowed seed including Runner Bean ‘Painted Lady and Nasturtium ‘Tom Thumb’. Pricked out seedlings of Lettuce  ‘Cerbiatta’ and made pots from newspaper. We did some soil pH testing and took a walk up to the vegetable garden and nibbled on sorrel leaves, sniffed on lovage and I described how to prune apple trees. By 5 o’clock  all were ready for a cup of tea or coffee which we took by the fire in the drawing room and indulged in scones with jam and cream.

COPYRIGHT CIARAN BURKE 201

SOME OF THE GARDEN CLASS POTTING

COPYRIGHT CIARAN BURKE 201

POTTING UP THE SEEDLING IN A NEWSPAPER POT

Next we meet for a drink before dinner, more friendly chat, lots of laughter and then face the hard work of choosing from tonight’s great menu.  The garden course is such good value, all meals are included and the full menu is offered. One thing I know for sure, I am having rhubarb pie for dessert.Its seriously good rhubarb pie in Cashel House!

 

COPYRIGHT CIARAN BURKE 201

DINNER MENU SATURDAY 2ND APRIL 2011

INFORMATION ABOUT GARDENING COURSES IN CASHEL HOUSE HOTEL

 

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