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Monday, 13 May 2013

Designing a garden in Bulgaria

After the initial set back of loosing Bart at the very start of this project, Susan, Eddie the Beagle and myself returned to the village of Rozovets to set up camp and start designing a garden.  The plan was that our friend Vasko let us use his land to camp on, work on, grow on, while him and his family were still in the UK.  This way we could decide if we liked the country and , if we did, they would come back to their native soil and we'd start a small community living off the land.  After what happened we were all over the place to start off with as you can imagine, but whatever else happens we decided to at least design a permaculture garden for Vasko and his family, who has been helping us a lot through the bureaucracy following Bart's death and also in memory of Bart, who died on this very spot.

So I will take you bit by bit through the design process. The garden is located in the small village of Rozovets on the egde where the Thracian Plain meets the Sredna Gora, right bang in the centre of Bulgaria, an area also known as the Valley of the Roses, because this area is responsible for 90% of the world's essential rose oil production.  Just now it is the harvest time

The garden is located at an altitude of just over 500m a.s.l. at almost the highest point of the village.  To the north, west and east the Sredna Gora hills rise, with no other villages until the northern flanks of these hills for some 20km or so.  To the south the vista opens up to the Thracian Plain with the city of Plovdiv visible some 50km to the south and on a clear day the Rhodopi Mountains can be seen in the distance.  The climate is therefore hot continental in the summer, with high humidity and some very cold winters, with severe frosts common.

Let me take you on a brief walk around the property if you've got 5 minutes to spare:

But first things first, I had to create a base map on which to base my design on.  This is it here, giving a nice idea.

The whole property consists of about 750 m2.  I have not yet drawn in the contour lines, but the north-eastern side is the highest point sloping down slightly towards the south-western. 

So much for today.  Next post I will put up the results of the PASTE survey as well the soil test and other factors which will help me make up my mind how to design this garden.


Tanya @ Lovely Greens said...

What a lush, green, and peaceful spot to start a new permaculture garden. Good luck to you all and have a great time. Love the sound from that land :)

chaiselongue said...

It looks wonderful with a lot of promise for the future. I hope it all goes well after your terrible setbacks. I camped in Plovdiv a few times in the 1960s with my parents, driving from Istanbul to Wales for the summer. Only a night at a time as then (communist days) my father could only get a 24-hour visa so we had to drive straight through!