Tuesday 2 May 2017

Our food forest garden

Dear Family & Friends

Our CEO was talking to a guy in Germany about our garden and after sending him a photo of it, he invited him over to be his guest in Germany for consultation on his vast garden. Then husband admitted that our garden is basically the 'wife's' project...so, I also got invited to be his guest. To be honest, I don't think I can claim to be an expert and therefore not keen on the offer. The truth is: although I enjoy gardening, yet I have no intention to be a slave to it since I just take an easy maintenance in the most natural sort of gardening style.

This is what our mid-spring garden looks like now - packed!

In Bulgaria, we have very intense dry summer...this last for about three months from June to August...long enough to drive me crazy. Over the years, I have to come up with a solution and that is to create a micro-climate. As summer heat is not normally accompanied with humidity, we can bring coolness by just planting trees to create shade.

some of our fruit trees were grown in recycled yogurt pots not too long ago
Our garden is not massive but it is big enough. By now, we have planted around 40-45 fruit trees within our enclosed garden walls. That's a lot of fruits to come. We are starting to reap the rewards. There's about all sort of fruits you can imagine - non-tropical ones of course...such as apples, pears,  peaches, plums of green, red and purple variety, sweet and sour variety cherries, quinces, apricots, mulberry, persimmon, pomagrenate, figs, almond nuts, hazelnut, chestnut...not including the rows of grapes, kiwi and berry bushes like gooseberries, raspberries, goji berries, aronia and strawberries. They are all self sustaining with very little maintenance involved. Growing trees is much easier than maintaining a grass lawn! The fact that we now took out the lawn in favour of a fruit orchard:) The best thing I've done!

not too long ago - trees were with blooms - they rapidly changed and progress on
My food forest dream have been created and it's not difficult to aim for. I go to the garden and I thank God for He basically makes them grow and sustains them for me. Our job is to harvest and enjoy the fruit of our labour...perhaps a little bit of pruning - 'IF' needed. As for making it fruit, well, that's not my job...the bees pollinate each tree one after another! As for fertilizing for the health of the trees, well, keep it messy, let the leaves drop without clearing them up and keep bushes around it to house creatures who will do the feeding for the trees.

now, the fruit trees are well into leave stage with  the flowers swelling into fruit form

Trees takes in their water from deep grounds. I don't water trees except when they were newly planted. No work - yet, they provide us all the shade to shield us from intense summer heat with their full on leaves, and by winter we get back all the sunlight to keep us warm as they drop all the leaves down and mulch their surroundings to keep the water they need from evaporation:) Amazing design!

trees are beautiful in every season - they change from stage to stage

No more garden secrets...all my dirty gardening habits are out...but I tell you..that's the best thing I've learned in life that makes sense - natural gardening:)

herbs such as chives, lemon balm grows along side with flowers of all sorts

Perfect spring time season...I'm off to enjoy some gardening work. BTW, we had -2C for two nights in a row last week (in mid spring!)...it burned the tips of my bigger potatoes, beans and tomato plants, including my mulberry tree that started budding after winter hibernation...- sad....but I don't worry about those things...they recover fast - back on track:)

In life, not all problems are really problem...so enjoy and always look to the good side:) I'm happy and you should be happy too!



  1. I think your garden looks lovely Annie.

    1. Thank you Sherri Mac for your visit today and kind words:) Hope you have a week at your homestead too:)

  2. Amazing garden, I love how much you have in there. I'm planning on weighing what I take out of mine this year to see just how much I produce! I bet you produce a lot more than me.

    1. Kev, I'm sure most of the bulk in our garden are due to the fact that it's getting established over the years and we grow as much perennials to cover the ground without much work. I like the idea of weighing the produce to find out how much we grow but I just don't have the discipline and character for that, plus the two girls forage and snack all day whatever goods they find- straight to the mouth - no washing, just dust it a bit on the clothes they're wearing that day!!

  3. Dear Annie, you have a wealth of information about gardening the natural way that you kindly share. The man in Germany will learn so much from you, especially if he follows your blog because you take us through every season with your specific thoughts.
    Your mid-Spring garden is blooming, full of vitality and I can imagine the bees having a wonderful time. Our bees here are slowing down because of the Autumn chill setting in, so their hours are restricted.
    May I ask what the white is around each of your fruit tree trunks? Is it painted with some solution or wrapped with something? Apologies if you have already explained and I have missed... I haven't been online and visiting my blog friends as much as I like just recently in order to allow my neck issues to heal. All is going along well though and I loved seeing your photos this post. Cheers to you and yours xx

    1. Sue, when we arrived here we have no clue what gardening is about. So we followed what the locals do to their trees...including perhaps the hocus focus practice?? It's just lime with water paint ...for what reason, I have no clue. It looks good but we haven't done this anymore to the rest of the later trees we planted.
      I'm sorry to hear about your neck issues...time to relax, I'm sure healing will come soon.
      Hope autumn will take it's while and not let winter set in before it's time...and don't forget to enjoy the colours of autumn:) Have a beautiful day today Sue! xx

    2. Thank you Annie, that's interesting. My Husband said he had heard of lime wash as a practice but couldn't remember why so I thought I would google.
      Seems it is done by organic gardeners if heavy pruning has been carried out and has exposed the trunk and branches to sunshine. It is to protect it from sunburn and splitting.
      So, no hocus pocus lol ;D)
      Yes, the colours of Autumn are wonderful... thank you, I shall enjoy them. Cheerio for now and happy gardening.

    3. Thanks Sue:) Now I'm a bit knowledgeable;P

  4. Annie, I am truly amazed by your beautiful and productive garden. I hope one day to have as many wonderful fruit trees as you have.
    I so agree that nature's way is the best way to grow. It's only when one begins to spray poisons that problems begin.
    Loved the beautiful flowers as well. Very very nice!

  5. Your garden is very beautiful.. And you take very good care of you garden..

  6. You have a very beautiful garden. Your are an expert in your own way and I like your method. Simple and easy.

  7. How do you irrigate your garden area in the pictures? I would like to do something like that in my garden in the orchard. But wondering how to water all the flowers , herbs , beneficial plants that I want to plant in the orchard.

    1. We use slow drip irrigation pipes in our vegetable beds but in other areas where the fruit trees orchard, we have trench on both sides of the bed to catch rain water, but trees usually are not watered much. In the height of summer when everything is dry, I will water the garden using hose...but the key is: put mulch and grow densely...then, you won't have the worry of keeping them watered.

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