We have returned to the quiet and serenity of Mornington after a brief but hectic sojourn in England. In March our offspring announced that we were to celebrate my ‘retirement’ with a surprise which involved a flight to England. Travelling with a wheelchair is always challenging. Aer Lingus is my airline of choice. Visits to Petersham Nurseries, Kew Gardens, Hampton Court Flower Show, Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons and two plays at The Orange Tree theatre, etc. were all squeezed into four hectic days!

Petersham Nurseries

Petersham Nurseries

Lunch at Petersham Nurseries was delicious. It is the first time I have eaten in a Michelin starred restaurant in a greenhouse!

Petersham Nurseries

Greenhouse restaurant at Petersham Nurseries

Vegetable plots Le Manoir

Vegetable plots Le Manoir aux Quat' Saisons

We were taken on a ‘mystery’ tour for lunch on the Saturday. The destination was Raymond Blanc’s Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons for lunch.

We relished each of the 9 courses of the tasting menu. After lunch we walked around the gardens.

Most impressive were the vegetable gardens at Le Manoir. Not a weed in site, the vegetable plots were a credit to their team of six gardeners. Two tunnels for courgettes and squash and two small glasshouses for nasturtiums and a grey leafed plants used for garnishes. Even this cynical ‘old batt’ was impressed and I have been snipping my nasturtiums for salads since we returned.

Warwick checking and comparing the green crops

Warwick checking and comparing the green crops Trying to read the labels no doubt!

It was interesting to see the metal sculptures in the gardens. I had last seen them on display at Chelsea Flower Show 3 or 4 years ago, before they were installed here at Le Manoir

re.Metal swan sculpture, we have real ones on the lake.

Metal swan sculpture, we have real ones on the lake.

Meanwhile back to the real world.

The box hedges have received their annual trim. Masses of ivy was pulled and put aside for adding to the autumn bonfire!

The bank of wild strawberries has been well picked over by visiting small people on their way to visit Holly and Noddy.

One of the sounds of summer at Mornington is the cooing of pigeons in the beech trees at the side of the house. The other morning Noddy and Holly had a competitive braying competition at dawn! They respond to a neighbour’s cockerel getting in first! More silage was cut & saved last week. On warm nights and windows open, neighbours appear to be very close. The sound of tractors and combines goes on late into the evening and appears to go on all night. Maybe they are operating by remote control!

As we are directly under the flight path west from Dublin Airport we see and sometimes hear the first transatlantic flights coming in at 5.00am

As the summer progresses so we are still weeding, shallots and some onions have been harvested. Beetroot, spinach, broccoli, potatoes and mangetout are being used for dinners. We have reseeded some leaf lettuce for use this autumn. Hope it germinates.

Just completed this as I was driven in by a heavy thunder shower. Such is an Irish summer!