Sunday, February 23, 2014

Garden again, Summer 2013

When I arrived at the house in June 2013, the nicely strimmed elder plantation had re-grown ( as I knew it would ) a few months before this lot wasn't there.

At least this time the giant 20mm wide wood stems had re grown as 10mm green stems, so not so difficult to strim....Obviously I have weakened it a bit, it hadn't grown back as close together, much less of it!
Elder is back....

I gave in and used weed killer ( never used it and I don't like using it ), Amenity Pro... glyphosphate based super power weedkiller, I left it 3 weeks till it died, did a test dig and the roots were a funny colour so it was in the roots so I chopped it down.... an hour with the brush cutter and it was gone.

I think it will keep coming back , but it seems weaker every time, I might get someone to plough the garden and pull its roots out.

I pruned the plum trees as it was summer and best to do it then, I never prune plums,Cherry's,peaches etc in the winter to prevent disease
I prune the growth from the floor to give a trunk and open up the centres for the birds to get in and eat the insects.
They don't seem to touch the fruit other than the figs, I tend to rake the soil underneath as well so they get anything living in the ground, after doing this the grub infested fruit trees are almost all fruit perfect with no insecticide.

Then I started on painting the trunks white with lime....

It seems to work, the ants don't seem to climb as much over the lime, snails don't go over , caterpillars stop and turn round.....lime painted trunks do seem to stop many of the insects!
All the trees now have some lime on them, I started running out and couldn't be bothered driving to get any more so started doing bands on the trees, some trees in Kazanlak near the Kaufland have dots on them instead of continuous bands.....I presume for fun...

When pruning, I decided to try and make it a bit safer for myself and the dogs when I bring them over, the seed grown cherry plum trees need some work, I have lots of these trees, all covered in thorns....not just any thorns but BIG thorns...

I cleared the stem to about 3 foot upwards of all branches to give a trunk and then took to removing all the thorns on the outside of the trees to about 4 foot along with any that stick outwards higher up, I left some internal ones to protect the fruit from climbing animals..

The fig tree seems to be healthy with lots of fruit, we were getting a half plastic bag a day of figs when we got up early enough to defeat the birds.

Plenty of new growth, grown close to the Balkan mountains with no protection other than the wall , the tree is about 6 foot higher than the wall at least and shows no frost damage.

Last year I hacked a rose bush down, this is now growing on the new growth, not sure what it is.....
I chopped it off just in case it spread!
The trumpet vine is growing well, looks much better now as I have painted the gate black, the orange against the black is great.

I'm taking a cherry picker over to give access to the roof of the house and factories if needed, but its also going to be great for getting the cherries....this sour cherry has lots of fruit as do the walnut trees next to it, but its a bit tall to get to any of it.


Bulgarian Wildlife 1, insects etc....

One thing that I noticed as soon as I was in Bulgaria the first time, was the large number of insects.

I have had no problem with flies landing on my food,  eating outside or inside, it doesn`t seem to be a problem, obviously if i leave a light on inside, door open in the dark the house is then full of flies...there are flies, its just that they are not as bad as people said when eating.

The insects running around the place , there are hundreds of them , not that they have been a problem, but there are many more than I ever see in the UK, and far more interesting.

Striped shield bug, when these turn up they seem to come in the hundred or more, strange that I have only seen them on elder and not seen any damage from them.

House centipede, one of these will turn up every now and then, they really move quick run accross the room at you....I am told they can bite!
Some sort of beetle!, havent seen them moving very often when I have they have been bumping into things!, I often find dead ones on outside of window ledges.
Some more shiny beetles!, this time green.... , these like all other things seem to live on the elder plants, on a sunny day every elder plant has at least one and most plants have 3 or more

We seem to have a few of these every day wandering round the floor, all I know is its a caterpillar of some type!
Ants in Bulgaria seem much more active and much larger, I have seen them ofen dragging dead wasps about, we have a few ant hills in the garden, this one has just been strimmed.

Butterflies, yellow ones, blue ones, green ones, white ones, lots of them , lots and lots of them

Crickets, quite noisy all around but not so much in our garden..I presume something is eating them here

Snakes.....This snake seems to live in the trees, small trees and bushes like the grape vines and fig tree. 
Often there will be birds nests with baby birds ,next day nests are on the floor and the snake is round in the trees in the same area.


Saturday, February 15, 2014

Growing things

I am an obsessive gardener!, for years, but for about 5 years I have been planting things in pots instead of the ground in the garden, so I can move them with me when I move
I was planning to be in Bulgaria for the winter, so everything could be done easily and planting would be at the right time.... but as I am still here , Stuck in the UK, I decided to get the seeds growing , some are already planted, some to be planted, all to travel to BG with me, along with some of my fruit trees I have in pots.

In the living room of the UK house, I have metal halide grow lights.....for the citrus trees, so light isn't a problem!

I was given around 1000 plant pots last month, 15L nearly new ones, made for hydroponics

Someone had been evicted on our industrial estate..... they made the news with the hydroponic grow room they had setup......the landlords needed to get shut of the plant pots, it was cheaper to give them to me than to use a skip, the cost to buy them 3 months ago was £1.75 each! and I got them for free!

I have seed trays everywhere in the living room.....

So far I have 40 seed module trays, 20 or so plant pots, 100 or so potatoes chitting....
Plants everywhere!....Soil everywhere!

A trip to the garden centre has just provided some more really big nice rhubarb crowns, onion sets, and strawberry plants, all now to be planted in modules.

Its all getting a bit silly, I am taking more plants with me than anything else......apart from machines!

Its going to look strange at customs.....I always do though!,  a van of machines....incuding lathes a laser cutter.....1000 plant pots and a load of trees including about 100 mini citrus trees and a few giant citrus trees... and loads of veg plants in seed trays!

Its going to be a bit packed in the first ( of many ) van loads


I have given up buying any of the shop rubbish ready made food in the UK ,But occasionally I get tempted......Yesterday I bought some Asda doughnuts......UUUUGGGGGHHHH! , nasty! , full of grease, a thumb hole in one, all squashed, no sugar on them, slimy, cold......just nasty!

Kaufland......If I get tempted they do a great doughnut, so do Lidl.......and they cost less , really nice doughnuts

I am terrible with doughnuts.....Yambol Lidl do a better one than the StaraZagora one..... time I drove from by StaraZagora to Yambol for search for doughnuts....before I found Kaufland ones....Kazanlak Kaufland do a really nice doughnut.....

Why cant I buy a doughnut in the UK, the UK ones are disgusting

I usually make them , using a recipe I found on the net , just flour , sugar, fat , milk and baking powder....I add cinnamon, I add jam as well , they only take a few minutes to make

Why can I make them in 5 minutes yet nobody in the UK food called professional food suppliers.... they cant make them????

Not long now!

Well....its been another long gap between posts!

It has taken some time, but my broken arm seems fine now....only 5 months to get better ( note to self get it in plaster next time and it might heal quicker ) even though its still hurts a bit here and there....its fine now

Its given me much more time to sort things out

Late last month I did a test run to Germany, I had to attend a trade fair at Nurnburg, the Spielwarenmesse to display my glue there, after driving that far my arm was sore...but bearable , the snow was ok, 10 day there and most days no snow fell, I was going to go on to Bulgaria after the fair but looking at the weather in Austria, Romania etc I decided it looked a bit cold for now so returned to the UK.

The ferry is booked for early next month for the move over to Bulgaria , after another 3 smaller trade shows, it feels a bit strange that my UK company is staying here without the UK and I am moving to the newer one in Bulgaria...I will be making visits to the UK instead of visiting Bulgaria, the idea is work should become more interesting again.....

Not long now till the move and I cant wait!

Weather in the UK.......its just so bad!, the whole place is flooding, last week our factory in Runcorn flooded about one quarter due to the drains belching water out,

Nobody seems to realise the whole country has had it, the amount of water has destroyed the crops this year, food prices obviously will rise....a loaf of brand name bread in the shops is about £1.50 already, what will it be after price rises...that's if there is any bread!

Bread in Bulgaria, I get it almost anywhere and its great, easier than making it, but I do like making it as its different, even at a supermarket like  Kaufland at about 0.50 Lev , that's around £0.20 , and it tastes better than the nasty plastic rubbish in the UK

I just cant wait to get back there, about a month to go!