Nurturing Nature

We saw a teeny tiny owl right at the top of a the tree behind the neighbours’ house at dusk last night, even its little beak could be seen as it called out to its friend a few trees away. This was a delightfully peaceful end to a very busy month which has whizzed by in a blur of DIY, travel and wall-to-wall visitors.

Since the bees have woken up we have been a hive of industry ourselves. The leaf-children (as I call my seedlings) have been coming on a treat under the old windows set up in the garden as a makeshift cold frame. Pricking out is a new term I’ve learnt as well, although I’m still not sure I’ve completely got the hang of it, as I might have planted eight individual blades of grass in little pots, rather than the impatiens flowers that were supposed to have come through…oops.

Leaf Children
Leaf Children – out from under glass
Curry arrives at NovoP restaurant – bravo Zlatina!

Jeremy set about making a cabinet for the washing machine, whilst I dusted off the sewing machine and made my first roman blind. We also took ourselves, pencils and a sketch pad off to the restaurant to thrash out a design for the rest of the garden, as it really is time it stopped looking like a woodyard (and wouldn’t it be nice to have somewhere to hang our hammocks?)

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How to make a Roman blind…
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…without using a pointed stick.
Ivan prepares the carport for concrete
…then takes a well-earned break

Ivan has nearly finished concreting the car port and is also well on the way to putting the foundations in for some more fence. In between all of that he has been lugging some of our many stones (we still don’t know quite where they have all come from) and used them to divide up different zones in the garden which, with much help and advice from M-i-L Sue, now features a colourful herbaceous border.

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Planting out the herbaceous border
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Anne learns LOTS from Sue
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Smile – you’ve been tangoed

Tom popped over for a few days with his camera and took pictures of everything. We saw our local storks with new eyes, which was particularly amazing as a new nest has arrived on a nearby telegraph pole and we are right on their flight path. (Not so great for the washing on the line, but try not to think about that.) Tom was able to converse with Ivan in Greek who was overjoyed to be able to practise the language again.

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Da boyz, hanging in Nesebur
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Our storks – in action
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Me? Show off?? Never…

We squeezed in a lightning visit to our friends Chris & Cled in Yambol, who we really don’t get to see enough of, and Jeremy spent his birthday at the Milan furniture festival – as you do! We also hung out with the spare parents Anne & John who were perfect guests and excellent hosts as ever, together we discovered a new corner of NovoP: a tiny chapel overlooking the reservoir.

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The Ladies

Then came the VIP visitors (no offence meant A&J): Sue and Thelma. A very game pair, they stayed at Maura’s comfortable Apartment Lilia, an ideal location for them to relax in their own space, yet only a few minutes walk from ours. We packed in the sight-seeing; they were subjected to everything from fine dining in Burgas to good old-fashioned Bulgarian cuisine at the NovoP restaurant, bird-watching at Poda where we met Philip the pelican, to strolling through Sozopol and supping wine whilst overlooking the old town.

Lunch in Soz. Gluten free? Not a problem!
Twitching at Poda
Philip! Rescued after flying into electrical wires and now a celebrity and permanent resident at Poda
Technical girls
Sunny beach walk in Soz
Sundowners overlooking the Old Town. Delicious.

Then we ALL took a holiday-within-a-holiday at the weekend and drove up to Balchik to see Romanian Queen Marie’s summer residence “Quiet Nest”, a stunning spot comprising palace and gardens, nestled in the cliffs with beautiful views out to sea. We carried on up north to cape Kaliakra the next morning – so far north we could almost see Romania – and caught glimpses of dolphins in the mesmerisingly clear aquamarine sea. Oh yes, and the ubiquitous shell jewellery and fridge magnet vendors, of course.

Summer residence of Queen Marie of Romania (also
Queen Victoria’s grand-daughter)
Balchik gardens
Tulips of …Balchik
Now I wonder if they’re related?
Topiary
Steps to the edge of the world at Kaliakra

And so, packed with yet more inspiration for the garden and a renewed fascination for our avian neighbours we are catapulted into May, when I’m bound to find out that the garden really isn’t big enough for the 15+ lupins I’ve started, not to mention the dozens of pretty annuals. I have a feeling I may be using buckets, teapots and wheelbarrows (watch out Mike) as plant containers this year. Still, the weather’s turned up the volume, so any work in the garden is a joy – watch this space for progress. Much love, and more soon!

Sue looking radiant in Balchik gardens
And some rather less welcome guests!


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6 thoughts on “Nurturing Nature

  1. Helen

    Loving it and LOOK AT THE WEATHER! Summer skirts and t’s out in force! Great to see all the pics and HOW AMAZING is that one of the storks!!! Just lovely, thank you. xxx

  2. Sue

    What a wonderful week we had, so much variety and Aand J organised first class weather with wall to wall sunshine as can be seen in the photos,

    1. Anne

      …and don’t you both look well on it! We had a great time too, and REALLY appreciate the chance to explore a bit ourselves. Somehow we never get around to it without the help of guests to spur us into action! See you soon xxx

  3. Debs

    WOW! What a creative pair you are….building washing machine houses, planting lots of Planteus Greenaieia, sewing Roman blinds of all things (which work!), taking brill photos and writing this blog. Phew. You need a holiday. I loved those stork pics and seeing your garden grow. Interesting gardens oop North and I just wanted to jump in to that water in Kaliakra. Enjoy the rest of your sunny May as I bask in the damp (it hasn’t stopped drizzling since the hose pipe ban came into effect a few weeks ago). Speak soon lovely Johns! Debs xx

    1. Anne

      A holiday! Now there’s an idea…anyone got any ideas how to generate some extra time, I’m not sure our creativity quite stretches to that…although 20 minutes in a hammock would be welcome in between things. Let’s hope the sun digs out his hat before too long in the UK, the rain might put out the Olympic flame and that would never do.

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