90. Oh, ye compost bins of glory

by | Mar 28, 2016 | Gardening bore | 2 comments

Bow before the most majestic compost bins in all Bulgaria. Bow, I said. Why aren’t you bowing? Oh, fuck it, here they are:


Compost bins of glory.


Look, I know compost bins aren’t all that exciting, and I understand I may be pushing the envelope in terms of how much tosh you guys will actually read. But hear me out. For four years we’ve heaped our kitchen waste, ash and rotten wood in a neglected bit of the garden (right next to the chain link fence that separates us from our neighbours. Poor neighbours.). That’s four years of looking at this:




To make matters worse, last autumn we gathered up all our leaves to make leaf mould (instead of burning them, as we had before, which is a terrible waste). So that’s six months of looking at this:




I’d had enough. The bin bags broke me. I realise I’m an anally retentive neat freak but surely no one wants to look at a heap of bin bags in their garden?

It was a couple of days’ work to get the bays set up and filled, which is a long time when there’s so much else to do in the garden. But now that it’s done, I don’t know why we didn’t do it years ago. Even Rob has decided they’re glorious, and he’s very much a just-heap-it-up-in-the-corner-of-the-garden kind of chap.


Sieving out usable compost.


Evidence of woollen long johns in the heap. Curiously, these are not ours.


Barney watches from a pear tree. Don’t even get me started on how much pruning we need to do.


Stara Planina Mountains. Makes for a hilly garden but lovely views.


We have one big bay for compost that’s rotting down. (We’re not big on turning compost from one bay to another, mainly because we are lazy, so we just heap it up and let it rot down slowly.) Then the smaller bay is for compost that’s ready to use – this is a small pile because we’ve just spread a load on the veg beds. May I say how nice it is not having to rummage through the big heap looking for ready-to-use compost? It’s, like, really nice. Then we have two leaf mould bays: one for last year’s leaves, and one empty bay for this year’s leaves. By next year, the first lot will have rotted down and been used in the garden, leaving us with an empty bay for the next lot of leaves. And so on. That’s the idea anyway. We’ll add more bays in future if we need to but, for now, this lot will do nicely. Isn’t organising stuff fun? It sure is.

*Pirate voice* black gold! 


I feel I should reward you for putting up with all this talk of compost, which is, after all, just rotted down shite from my kitchen. So sorry about that. Will these do?

It’s the Melon Lada. Obviously.


How do you fix a car in Bulgaria? Just prop it up on its side with a tyre. It’ll be totally fine. Honest.


Smug Pepper.


  1. Anonymous

    Hi Claire
    I'm afraid I've been a bad blog poster and reader lately so this is a retrospective enquiry – when you say compost bays what do you mean. I currently looking quite closely at composting techniques and your blot sprung to mind. Do elucidate further – did you make bays or are they just spaces. I'm afraid to say it is a burning question that needs to be answered! Oh and good luck on the running, non drinking and diet – I feel your pain 🙁

  2. Auntie Bulgaria

    Yeah, I realise the picture isn't that clear. We made rough bays out of wooden posts banged into the ground and wire fencing stretched around the posts. It keeps the various piles separate (as in, one pile for rotting down stuff, one pile for ready-to-use compost, etc.) but was quicker to build than proper wooden bays. Our 'bays' are open at the front, for easy access, and they don't have lids, although in really wet weather we cover them with plastic sheeting. I'm sure there are better ways to do it (I covet Monty Don's compost bays in Gardeners' World) but this was a cheap, easy and quick way for us to get organised. And you know how much I like getting organised…


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  Follow me on Instagram  |  Sign up for the newsletter