Tuesday, 22 March 2016

The birds are arriving................

At the end of the last post, I showed a picture of my hands with the Martenitsas (red and white bracelets) on.  The custom is that they should only be taken off when you see the first stork arrive and then you should hang them on a tree.  I was lucky enough to receive 6 Martenitsas and felt quite blessed until I began to realise that they were actually a bit irritating especially when washing up and having a bath with them on.  We had heard that the storks were arriving but we had yet to see one.  The weather had been a bit mixed so we were doing a lot of decoration within the house (bracelets getting grubby again) but then we had a few days of lovely sunshine and we were working outside in the garden. (weeding making the bracelets even grubbier), until today!  Working away in the garden with our heads down, we had a phone call....... one of our neighbours saying "look up" and there they were.  No pictures I'm afraid, they were just to high but they definitely looked like storks.  So now one of our apple trees is heavy with Martenitsars.
GJ did a hatchet job when he cut this one back so I thought it could do with some adornment.

I had a birthday last week and I had a lovely birthday present...
This is what it should look like when erected....

We have agreed to re-home some of Sara's chickens so that Dave can concentrate on the rarer breeds whose eggs and chicks command a higher price. The shed was delivered last weekend and GJ and Dave have spent the last two days erecting it and creating a chicken run.

I will introduce you to the chucks on the next blog

I have started planting a few things in the garden.  I have decided to grow climbers (Peas, Beans, Broad Beans etc. along the outside of the poly tunnel frame and they can afford the rest of the plants a little shade throughout the summer.  We went to Trambesh Market last Wednesday and picked up a kilo of onion sets so I have put them in - 160 in total. Back breaking work but worth it.  I have also sown 4 different types of radish and five different types of beetroot. All seem to have taken as they are pushing their heads through already,  Other direct sowing that I have attempted is Spinach, Swiss Chard, Kale and some Carrots.  I have had to cover things over for a few nights but they still seem to be OK.  
See the home-made trellis - very Bulgeski.
I have also started to leave my seedlings out side over night and luckily 95% seem alright with that.
Mostly herbs but the white seed trays are seedlings of winter veg - Broccoli, Cabbages and Leeks.
Tomatoes, Peppers, Chilies and my first time of trying, some flower seedlings.

I thought I would do some companion planting with a lot of Marigolds which are supposed to keep the nasty bugs away and encourage the good ones.  I have also grown some Nasturtiums, Stocks and Geraniums.  Possibly for window boxes.

I have just seen something on face book that is perfect for growing flowers that you can spread all over your garden and move for mowing:  Rip up lots of paper into small pieces and soak in water for 15 minutes.  Put the drained, soaked paper into food processor with a dash of the water. Whizz up and press half the paper maché into cake moulds.  Put ,mixed flower seeds on top of the mixture and add another layer of the paper.  Dry overnight and then take out of the moulds.  Place on you lawn at random intervals and the seeds should germinate and you should have a little block of flowers which can be moved if necessary. Brilliant, I will be trying this if I can convince Bracken that they are not for him.  Kids would love to do this!

We have started doing decoration when the weather is not as sunny or bright as it could be.  We don't seem to get much rain at this time of year although I believe June and July have a lot of thunder storms.  The first room (box room) as I probably mentioned before, has become a dressing room but as we have now started the master bedroom, is now another junk room.
 When it's cleared, just the curtains to put up and it will be finished
Well what else do you do with a bookcase?

We had some fun trying to get a nice colour to paint for the main bedroom.  I had ordered some new curtains from the UK because here they seem to be just flimsy things.  The colour is described as biscuit so I wanted a creamy light brown (lighter than the curtains). We got the lightest we could find and after using two 2lt pots and mixing it with one and a half  5lt pots we finally had the right colour.  So plenty of filling and two coats of white before the colour and then two coats of colour, we are now ready to sand down the floors (all wooden).  Gosh I hate decorating!

Our lovely neighbour Elinor has had babies - well not her.  Her two sheep (there were 3) have had two lambs - cute!
 And she had her rotivating done this week and the rotirvator was brought to her house using real horse power....

This picture shows our type of horse power against hers. 
 I took a few pictures that show part of the winter sitting room now that we have our own furniture in it.  The beam in the centre actually holds up the whole house - a well seasoned piece of timber.
 ....and just look at the size of my temporary kitchen on the left of this picture - makes life a bit tricky but at least I know it is only temporary.

A few random pictures......

on a walk once day I cam across some wild hellebores in the middle of nowhere!

and this unusual buterfly

while this fella was found in the garden

and my first legumes to make an apperance

The chooks have arrived so now I must be into animal husbandry!!!

til the next time...
H, GJ and Bracken


  1. Another tip I have used, when seeds are small and you want them in straight lines get some wallpaper paste mix the seeds in and use a piping bag to get them into the furrows in the ground or in seedling trays, works well with tomato seeds ;)

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    1. Looking good. I managed to see a stork on the nest as I drove into Petko Karavelova today so now Sara's and my martinitsas are joined together in the tree behind her grave.

  3. You have been busy, will be good to see everything growing on. I miss my dressing room, we had one at the previous house. Had to get wardrobes here, not the same though. X

  4. Looks like you're getting settled in to your new life in Bulgaria! Your front room looks cozy..loved the fireplace. Good job on the chicken coop...enjoyed reading about your interesting and busy life!

    1. Many thanks Julie, now that I have retired from Working, I have never been as busy.

    2. I did type Juliet but the predictive text changed it

    3. I did type Juliet but the predictive text changed it