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Sunday, 19 April 2015

It's all go!

With the warmer weather comes lots of jobs. One of the biggest is watering and as wee were taken by surprise a bit (that the forecast was actually right!) we hadn't got all our hoses in place. The seedlings and plants in cells were drying out so quickly they had to be watered by watering can several times a day, never mind the chickens and seedlings coming up in the garden.
One of the big jobs...liming all the walls and ceilings in the poultry houses

They'll look great and hopefully knock some bugs flat

And they are all coming up. All the beetroot, carrots, spinach, chard and some peas are romping away. I say some peas because the is still playing hunting in the trenches and there are gaps! These have been re-sown and in the heat himself has taken to hunting in the wildflower garden...left long for our bees. That's our excuse anyway. Today it has been cut as there are plenty of other flowers for the bees. Also up are most of the potatoes, the only ones with a no-show are the very early ones....but Dave couldn't resist digging one up to look and they are well rooted even if they have no shoots yet. I've also put the seed grown onions out, and today we started on the brassicas. All the peppers and aubergines went out and are under fleece, but the cues and the rest of the tomatoes can wait till the cold nights next week have passed.
Our first pea pods, from the ones started in pots

A storm has boosted growth
Bella, not really helping the onions

First potato shoot

And the cat knocking the latest peas flat

Not pretty but tasty, over wintered carrots, with lettuce and herbs
The blackcurrants have lots of fruit set
Strawberries, not huge plants but plenty of flower, and now given a nice feed

I have done the pots for the outside stairs, a couple of them have some short sweet peas I sowed but without keeping the packet so I don't know what they are and what they do. I have also done a couple of troughs for the wall with them to give a bit of interest. The cherry toms on the wall look as if they have maybe got a bit cold but they are flowering well so we should have some early tomatoes all things being fair.

Unknown sweet peas

Cherry toms with lots of flowers

Among the established perennials all are growing well and there are buds on the peonies and roses, the verbascum and lonely delphinium. All the herbs are doing well as are the bedding plants grown from seed. We even have slips growing on the sweet potatoes at last.

The snowflakes are even better than last year

Wildflower garden
And Dave with knee high grass socks after strimming

Other happenings in the garden....the birds are coming back in numbers now. There is a lot of noise in the mornings and as well as our usual residents and the swallows, the nightingale is getting louder, the hoopoe is calling, as is the cuckoo, and we have both heard orioles...not the starling mimic this time. We are also getting more vareties of butterflies, crickets (great fun for the cat!) and lots of small bugs, insects and beetles.

Unknown (tatty?) butterfly, taken a long way off so a bit blurry

And one of the Shumens is trying to go broody. And we are trying to persuade her it is not a good idea. Meanwhile Cagney and her little duckling are doing well. As long as there are plenty of bowls of water about for the little one and dust for mum all seems well. They spend most of the time out with all the others now, though still sleep in the crate.

Teaching baby that chard is good to eat


Can just about reach the dirty duck water
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We have decided to sell the two white ducks, Spot and Spotty. The drake is harassing poor Spot, really giving him the runaround, so feel a home on their own would be better. They are such nice characters and I would hate for them (or Spot) to end up in the freezer. They have been reserved by the couple who had eight cockerels last year, with the proviso we will have them back if they don't get on with the boys.

On Wednesday we had a trip out to Ruse to pick up Dave's paintings, meeting the rest of the artists there. It seems no-one managed to sell much, not just Dave. Most of the paintings are now for sale at a reduced price (we can't keep them all!) and one has been sold already.
In the paper

On the way home we called in to a superstore called Jumbo for a nosey around. Had a great time and came out with two large carrier bags of goodies, kitchenware (including cake tins) stuff for the animals, flip flops, craft materials, bathroom stuff, bug control, stationary....all for around 35 quid! Good job there isn't one around here! It was a bit like a pound shop on steroids, the only thing which cost a little more were the flip flops at less than 4 quid.

Flip flops x 2
Been trying out the mini 4"cake tins and freezing the results, using up eggs

And on the subject of using up eggs, the neighbours sent round some Easter bread which made a very nice, light bread pudding, went down a treat with a spoon of Chantilly cream


  1. great photos. Looks like everything is growing nicely in your garden.

    1. Thank you Gill, nothing like a dose of 'natural' rain water to give everything a long as we don't get last year's excess!

  2. I know what you mean about Jumbo. It's one of my fave shops here!


    1. Haha, Dave was getting a bit flushed and warning me he only had 200 leva on him....could have spent more but will save it for another day when I need a high. Sad that I am. Good job it's over an hour away.

  3. Hi, there,
    love your garden, much further foward then mine here high in the hills in the North midlands. The butterfly is a comma, and it always looks ragged. You can see the little white/silver "comma" on the underside of the wing.
    ChrisF in the UK.

    1. Thank you Chris, I am useless with butterflies which is a shame as there are some corkers here.

  4. Beautiful photos. Warm greetings from Montreal, Canada. :)

  5. So much going on on the veggie front! Is your frost risk past? We are due really cold weather next week and frosty nights which will be a shock after T-shirts this past week. We can't put anything out until after ' the ice saints' have been in mid May - there's always a strange dip in temps then. Though I've only experienced one frost in May in all the time I've lived here. Then I'll put my geraniums out and buy some tom plants.

    Lovely to see more photos of the hen and duckling. Love your Hawfinch photo and I was going to ID the butterfly but someone else got there first! That bread pudding looks good! :-)

    1. It seems the frost was late this year, but now we are into much better night temperatures so it's all systems go. It seems I am ahead of many others I am in contact with, more by luck than skill I think!

      I am trying out Dave's bridge camera for a while, but I forget to use the viewfinder sometimes. Mine is better for close up, his for distance, and mine is much easier to handle. But I have it outside with me while I pot on or make cards in case anything interesting pops up. I could do with all the butterflies just staying still sometimes though, can't get anywhere near.

  6. Congrtulations, good job in your garden,thank for seet pictures, greetings from Warsaw, anna

    1. Good morning Anna and welcome. Thank you for commenting.

  7. Congrtulations, good job in your garden,thank for seet pictures, greetings from Warsaw, anna

  8. The garden is looking wonderful, I especially liked the wild flower spot before it was cut lol! The whole of our place looks like that at the moment and since we have visitors we aren't really able to get out there so it will be another week before we get down to it. Our risk of frost is well past but I still haven't got tomatoes as far on as yours. Sigh. I will get to grips with the gardening thing eventually. Great photos.

    1. Jane, I rarely tell of the failures! I like variety but this climate is not so sure! Last frost has passed so it's all weeding, tying in, weeding, watering and weeding for a while. Your tomatoes will catch up, I have staggered my sowing so that I only had one variety waiting for the last frost. The rest waited and are still small.