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.
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?)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!