One of my hobbies for the last 10 years or so has been to grow bonsai trees. I have brought a few over from the UK when we moved over. My neighbours think I am mad!
I normally recieve at least one guest everyday to my house, normally for a quick coffee and a chat, and to invariably to inspect my gardening
effots and tell me where I am going wrong. Recently whilst repotting my UK Hazel bonsia tree and giving it a quick trim I was visited by one of my
neighbours on such a coffee/inpection visit.
‘What is this?’
‘Its a nut tree’ (I don’t know the Bulgarian for Hazel)
‘It needs a bigger pot or it will never get any bigger’
It is times like these that I am glad that I am not fluent in Bulgarian/Turkish as the actual answer I would give to them would probably sound more bizarre
than the answer I fobbed him off with. Telling someone from a small rural Bulgarian village that it is my intention to keep the tree small so as to make it decorative
would probably get them telephoning the men in white jackets. They have only just got round to the idea of me planting sunflowers where the seeds are no good for eating, and now I am
growing a ‘nut tree’ that if I keep it in a pot will never produce me any nuts!
In fact now that I have written it like that perhaps they have a point!
Long gone are the days of winter where the main objective of the day was just to keep warm, now the persperation comes with the spring dig of the garden
and the planting of this years food crops. As well as the staple foods which the majority of the village grow, as I have quite a big garden (or in UK language
bloody huge) I have dedicated part of it as a fruit orchard. I bought the saplings at the local market in Djebel and they have been in for two years
now, so I am expecting my first fruits this year (if only a taster of what is come in following years as the trees mature.
I have in total 12 trees in my orchard, including cherry, pear, apple, peach, nectarine as well as the ones that were already there which are some type of plum/damson
and are locally known as ‘Jankey’ or ‘Sliven’ trees. Which by all accounts make great brandy (Rakia) see here.
Well this is the time of the year when the trees are advertising there wares to the bees and other insects to secure pollination and what a sight it is.
My new cherry tree although not as good looking as the mature plum tree is promising enough cherry at least to grace the odd cocktail!
So this year I will be on scrounge for cherries to make more cherry wine (cherry wine recipe here)
One of my next door neighbours is a master of all trades and at 67 years old is more sprightly than I am most days. He can often be seen
on his roof making repairs or sweeping the chimney. So when I made an attempt to graft some pear cuttings on to some wild root stock
he decided that the silly ‘Ingleez’ shouldn’t do this unsupervised (probably a good idea). In fact after about 2 mins he took control and did it for me.
It is not a difficult procedure, first of all we cut the old tree down near to the base. Then inserting the cuttings inbetween the outer bark
and the main trunk as this is where the sap rises quickest. This is then sealed off with plasticine and made waterproof with bits of old plastic.
Hopefully they should take in a couple of weeks and we should get pears within a couple of years.
I am not sure what they think of my attempt at gardening, especially my new ‘Colditz’ style cow prevention system. I think mainly I am
a source of amusement. Which for me is no problem. Especially all the help I recieve from them.
For the last two days I have been suffering from a bad case of man flu. As with most men the idea of going to see a doctor for anything less than
amputation seems a ridiculous notion. So I am suffering in silence and trooping on. Well I have no choice as Annie is in the UK at the moment and
I have no one to wipe my brow or rub ‘vicks’ on my chest!