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Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Everything is growing again

An early start for the car boot sale

It's a funny old time of the year for gardeners. We know what jobs need doing but as ever we are controlled by the weather. Last week Dave planned to start the rotovating but right on cue we had a couple of days of chilly rain, so then the ground was too wet to work. With the temperature of the soil still high this means that the weeds have started to grow again as soon as the sun came out, which it did on Sunday while we were car booting. Then it went in, then out....coat was on and off constantly as there was a cool breeze whan the sun went in.
Dave plugging holes in the chimney to stop rain coming in....this is when Angel decided to have a chat with Dave!

Anyhow, we were confined to the house for a couple of days so we both got creative, Dave did another lion painting and I made some more cards.

The geese....also known as waterfowl....were particularly pathetic in the rain and apart from coming out to see the sky, decided it was far too wet and demanded to go back in to the garage. The visiting girls were allowed into the wood shed so that they could scratch around and dust bathe, which meant they could make demands from the gate as they saw us emerge from the house. You can tell their Mum spoils them! My ex-batts are a hardy bunch and look rather pathetic as they get soaked through, but they have the choice of tree shelter, their own room or the open 'barn' where their feed is and they can dust bathe, they just prefer to wander around looking for worms, and of course the muddy water in the puddles where the rain in directed down from the gutters is soooo much better than the fresh tap water (actually the water tipped from the water bowl when filling it with fresh is always better too)
One of the visiting hens lays large eggs, but this one was a whopper...and very wrinkly

The kitten is a proper cat, likes to sit in the sun, but insists that a warm lap or furry body is in order when there is any wet stuff. The dogs....well Bonnie gets stressed in case it might thunder, but at the clink of a lead buckle is suddenly an outside dog needing a nice walk. Bella just does Bella things whatever the weather.

So on Monday and today the sun came out and it was soon too hot to sit in it for long. Coffee break was as long as I could cope with. But as mentioned, the ground is still warm and everywhere is greening up again. There are masses of self sown seedlings from californian poppy, cosmos and nicotiana, roses are having a spurt of growth, the nicotiana we thought were spent have grown new leaves and pushing out more perfume. The bees and hoverflies are enjoying the ne flush of flowers as well as other insects/The grass is growing so the strimmer has come out...whoever thought that geese would be good lawn mowers? They prefer my cabbages! Dave also managed some rotovating today....keep out of the sun? No chance. He doesn't care how hot it is. He started with the chook pen, I thought he was being nice to them, giving them some fresh ground to scratch in. But actually he did it for me, which l found rather confusing as that is now the bird pen, not my seed bed. Never mind it might be a good place to put the peas in spring. But he did get round to the patch for the garlic which can go in soon.

Cosmos amongst the weeds

Beans in the lawn

Insects everywhere

Salvia starting to flower again

Cornel buds ready for spring

Marigolds proving poular

An old hive is attracting bees, wasps and flies

One of the tiny white spiders on the echinacea

Shield bug on cosmos

Old fashioned rose

Californian poppy

Tired and worn out morning glory......

.......and new ones coming through

Verbascum come alive


.........with resident

Teeny aster

Tomato seedling

The waste area by the pool is loving the weather and the herbs and nasturtium are going wild

Oh dear, what lives will die. We have had an abundance of frogs and toads this year

The walnuts are now dropping every day. About a quarter are black or half black inside and although I had intended to store them naturally in their shells this year, I have changed my mind as I don't see the point in storing rotten nuts. So I am back to shelling and freezing them. There will not be as many as last year and they are a bit small, but you can't have bumper crops every year.

We are enjoying the fresh leeks and cabbage regularly now, a change from psb. Both are really romping away now, you can almost see them grow. The seeds have germinated so hoping for at least a month of half decent weather to get everything well on the way. Still no sign of any caulies but the chooks and geese can have the plants after they have gone through the psb. Waste not want not.
Radish, can only be grown in the cooler months

Mint for the freezer, leeks for tea

Huge cabbage

Sparkly web

Sparkly goose feather

We have (again) had a sort out of the spare room which has become a dumping ground. We got rid of some of the stuff we brought with us from the UK, thinking we couldn't live without it, and a couple of single beds which we will never need as it is very unlikely we will get more than two visitors at a time. I thought we had a lot of bedding spare as I had bought quite a lot in case we needed it, but couldn't find any. Strange. But anyway the room is a lot tidier and summer clothes are mostly put away.

I have a renewed interest in cooking now that the cooler weather is here. After a summer of mediterranean and Bulgarian style meals I have had a hankering for the occasional stew and Yorkshire pudding. Eggs need using so there are also occasional puddings. Oh dear, the waistline suffers. It makes a lovely change to cook proper food rather than jam, chutneys and sauces.

Yorkies filled with stew and psb

Lemon surprise pudding, very light but very sweet

An alternative to kedgeree which I have been yearning for. This is salmon and a bit of smoked salmon for flavour. Cured the hankering and delicious

Beans from Venka, useful for stews, and a litre of rakia for Dave. We've also recieved another bucket of peppers (groan)

There is not a huge amount of pet news. Kitten is growing and getting rougher. He is spending a lot of time outside if it isn't raining, even stalking the geese who are allowed on the lawn at the moment. It is a worry but the geese only really come up when we are about. And there is always the tree. There is horse electric tape around the plants to keep the geese where they should be, not electrified, it's not necessary, but means that the cat can get out of the way easily.


Bella can now play properly with Splash and they have hours of fun. Bonnie is now quite happy with him as long as he doesn't play with her tail, and doesn't move away when he snuggles up to her, usually he is found around her bum! She has even occasionally looked a bit playful, she certainly is with Bella now that the evenings and early mornings are cool.


  1. I love how the kitten has no fear of the big dogs and obviously considers himself "one of them". Such a cutie.

    1. Haha, the kitten has no fear of anything on our land, he is true to his feral roots and just 'deals' with situations. Just as well he has nine lives I think! He really doesn't realise he is still just a handful in size. Watching the three of them playing this morning was hilarious, but he made sure Dave's legs were there for protection, Bonnie can be very clumsy and is not always as aware as Bella. Now, just need to point the little devil at the rodents, he can start with the tiny mice and work his way up!

  2. Your kitten is absolutely adorable! Love the photo with the geese and the one where he's snuggled up the dog's backside! Great seeing how your garden is coming back to life after your no doubt very hot summer - I expect you get a long and nice autumn there. Is it very cold in winter? I haven't read any of your winter posts (yet).

    Food all looks good especially the alternative kedgeree, although we haven't even started on any winter veg (my PSB will be ready in late winter) as we're still eating courgettes, toms and aubergines. We have some rain forecast which is good because I want nice autumn colour and not just dried out trees colour!

    1. Bulgaria has four very distinct seasons, but the summers are long (next year I will be more organised and do two smaller plantings of most things) and winters short but very harsh....except last year which was mild for BG. Villages are frequently cut off and temperatures can reach -30. We have to be prepared with cannisters of water, fuel close at hand and candles. Also indoor hobbies. Although we are rarely cut off here it seems, we will have plenty of flour, pasta and rice in as we don't want to go out unless we have to when the roads are bad. We have plenty of bottled and dried food should the freezer fail. We don't have central heating, just a woodburner downstairs with an oven and a small one upstairs if needed. The heat goes upstairs from the kitchen.

      The psb I am using at the moment is summer varieties. The dog nicked the labels so I don't know what varieties but they are not as nice as winter ones, one is quite tough and bitter. Nothing except lettuce, onions and garlic is overwintered, it's just too cold normally. Even last year only a couple of psb survived. Sadly cabbage needs to be processed some how. Very dark stuff and kale can be frozen, white is usually frermented. I have no idea why lettuce survives.

      I'll just parcel the kitten up and send him over, I'm sure your two will sort him out!

  3. Kitten photos made my day, just so hilarious how close he gets to the dogs, they must have a lot of patience. Spring season over here now and winter veg nearly finished.
    Need to have a good clean out of vegie patch and get new seeds in whilst we still have a little rain.
    Ruth Western Australia

    1. He is indeed a little belter, and so horrible to the dogs. Bella has now started to play properly with him and even Bonnie will join in occasionally. I have hundreds of photos, as I did when Bella was a pup and Bonnie not sure about having a youngster about. Bella as a pup was as insistant on a warm body as Splash is. We laugh a lot with all their antics.

      We have now let the chickens have more garden in the hope that they will clear some of the weeds and grubs over wintering, as well as spreading compost and fertilising the plot. Might as well use their habit of wrecking land to our advantage!