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Saturday, 28 April 2018

160. Back in the Bulg

Here I am! Back from the UK* to a gloriously warm Bulgarian spring.

Man, the garden shot up while I was away. I was only gone 10 days and I swear the perennials have grown by a foot. This is the best time of year for a gardener, I think. You’ve got all the promise of the summer ahead. All the excitement of the emerging perennials that were divided and moved last autumn (which always feels like a lifetime ago by this point of the year). All the anticipation of tiny seedlings growing every day. And none of the disappointment of plant failures and deaths that will inevitably come along (slugs, snails, new things that just don’t like our soil or we’ve bunged in the wrong place).

It’s the gardening equivalent of Christmas Eve – all the excitement with none of the indigestion.  

Christ, there’s a lot to do, though. Between now and early June, we’ll be working outside every weekend (weeding, planting, keeping on top of the grass), and tinkering with seedlings (thinning, pricking out, etc.) in between the weekends. But we’re ready. The wonky polytunnel is up, and we’re raring to go.

Next time, I’ll talk about what we’re growing this year. For now, here are more Gardening Bore 2018 pictures for you to enjoy or ignore as you see fit…

The big main perennial border: top right was about a month ago, top left was
just before I went to the UK. Bottom row is after my trip, with more aquilegias 
coming into flower every day.

Tulips stayed in flower for ages this year, thanks to the lack of heavy rain.


Remember I mentioned we were forcing our gladioli bulbs in water?
It works. It works ridiculously well!


Baby snapdragons, carnations and cosmos growing in the spare room/seedling factory.

Wonky polytunnel tribute.

Meanwhile, in the vegetable camp...

Tomatoes growing up well. These ones are, I think, a bush pink variety called Grushkova.

Wide load rhubarb.


A random lettuce growing in our terrace, proving that, while we may kid ourselves that
the garden needs us, it does perfectly well on its own.


We've been eating SO much asparagus.

*I do like to entertain you with tales of my random UK purchases that wouldn’t fit in my suitcase. This time: giant palm tree candlesticks (yes, plural), brass hanging plant holders (again, note the plural), a second-hand hammered brass ball lamp that will NEVER fit in literally any suitcase of any kind. (I’m weirdly into brass lately. By the time all this shit makes it to Bulgaria, I’ll probably have got over this phase.)

I also went wild in Portsmouth's charity shops and bought so many clothes that I had to travel to the airport wearing the big straw hat and three summer tops that simply wouldn’t squash in my (hand luggage only) suitcase. Picture me on the train to Gatwick, wearing a big straw hat and many floaty layers, at 10pm, and you have a good idea of how much of a nutcase I looked.