Like a D-list soap star cutting the ribbon on a new local Tesco, here I am unveiling our rustic greenhouse. Sort of.
It looks very finished from the front, you see, but there aren’t any windows on the sides yet! In this 32°C heat, that’s not necessarily a bad thing (extra ventilation for our tomatoes), and so long as it’s finished by winter (when we’ll want to move in some of our tender plants), there’s no great rush. Rob will return to finish off the sides later in the summer – but for now, other garden jobs are piling up. There’s edging to do on the new fruit/veg beds in front of the greenhouse, pathways to make, a dry stone wall to finish off, 10 cubic metres of wood to chop, and more. His life is just so fun.
Anyway, let’s take a breath and marvel at how beautiful the greenhouse is. *cough* From the front.
What do you think about the black paint? It’s a strong choice for a greenhouse, but we love using black in the garden – our veg beds are also painted black – because it really makes the colour green pop. It also adds a bit of crispness to our otherwise increasingly shaggy garden. (I think Rob’s only cut the grass once this spring/summer. I feel like David Attenborough peering through the jungle whenever I go out into the garden. It’s almost certainly infested with ticks, snakes and scorpions.)
As with any new construction, the greenhouse will weather and blend into its surroundings over time. We’ve also planted a grapevine at either end, which will eventually grow up and along the top of the windows, adding a bit more softness. We love it already though, even in its bold, newly painted state.
The tomatoes seem to love it, too. I’ve never seen them grow such big, luscious leaves. I’m assuming bigger is better? [Insert your own lewdness here.] We should have our first tomatoes in the next week or two.
In other June news:
- We harvested our first ever batch of blackcurrants, from the bushes we bought in spring. And I immediately learned that picking off the dry, spiny flower end from every single currant is a right ball-ache. (We have three blackcurrant bushes. Pray for me.) I’m not sure what I’m going to do with all of the currants – blackcurrant frangipane tart springs to mind, but I’ve also been eyeing up a blackcurrant brandy recipe. And you know how much we love making our own booze…
- As well as all the plants I’ve grown from seed, we went to Etropole market and splurged on a load more plants (aubergines, peppers and yet more chillies) that we definitely don’t need and don’t have space for. Luckily, we harvested our garlic the other day, which has given us one spare bed to plant things in. But I’m still left with dozens of basil plants and chillies that I’ll have to cram into other veg beds. (After last year’s chilli disaster, where our seeds failed to germinate, I’m determined to be overrun with chillies this year.)
- We’ve been cooking outdoors a lot, firing up the barbecue or pizza oven every weekend. We’re getting pretty creative with our veggie barbecues these days – last time we barbecued whole aubergines, which we then split open and served with a lovely tahini sauce. Heaven.
- Oh and we went swimming at the fancy-pants Pravets hotel for the first time since the pandemic. It was a glorious way to spend an afternoon, and another step on our personal return to normality. (Bulgaria has now, I believe, lifted all COVID restrictions.) I enjoyed being a hermit for a year – it really played to my people-avoiding strengths – but even I have to accept that it’s time to get back out there and relearn how to be around people.
That pretty much brings you up to date on our June. I’m mainly here to brag about the (*cough* front of the) rustic greenhouse. Leave your verbal applause for Rob below and I’ll pass it on. (He literally never reads this thing.)
A little housekeeping notice while you’re here: I probably won’t be blogging weekly this summer as there’s so much to do outside. Best to check in fortnightly instead. But I do post on Instagram regularly, so you can keep up with our adventures there in the meantime.