So much life and beauty in the garden.
Our friend and great helper, Alper, from Turkey spent a day with our village shepherd. The old tradition of taking animals to pasture is still alive and well here in Bulgaria.
Alper took our goats, Dennie and Monnie, down to meet the herd as usual in the morning and then spent the day wandering the fields with Razim. It helped that Razim is Turkish Bulgarian so he and Alper could chat in Turkish.
They hung about under trees in the shade; met with other shepherds; made a fire to cook lunch; rallied the flock; and kept an eye on the sheep dogs who protect the animals from wild dogs and wolves.
To whet our appetites for the Herbal Healing Course in May this year, here’s a little information about one of the herbs we shall meet along the way. There are still a few places left on the course. Contact us to book.
This is Agrimony (agrimonia eupatoria, also known as cocklebur, church steeples, tea plant, catch as catch can, furr burr). There are several subspecies Fragrant Agrimony (agrimonia procera) and Bastard Agrimony.
It is a perennial and grows in dry grassy places between June and August. You may know it by the sticky burrs.
Its uses are primarily to stop all sort of bleeding. It also aids the liver and digestive system and can help with problems in the urinary tract and will ease the pain of kidney stones, IBS and chronic systitis. In children it can help with bed wetting, anxious potty training and incontinence in the elderly.
It helps with stress, tension and pain by restoring balance and releasing constricted energy.
On our herbal healing course, we will learn how to collect agrimony; how best to dry it; and how to make it into various types of medicine, samples of which you can take home with you. The course will be led by UK herbalist, Frances Wright of Green Lane Herbs, a herbalist with over 20 years experience.
We are so pleased and amazed. We just heard that we were selected as the Tripadvisor Traveller’s Choice no 1 bed and breakfast/guesthouse in Bulgaria. Thanks to all our amazing guests who took the time to write reviews for us. It’s wonderful that our little eco-retreat has been acknowledged like this! For full details, click here.
This summer we had a wonderful visit from herbalist, Francis Wright. She was amazed by the proliferation of herbs and wild flowers here in Spring and taught us lots about their various healing properties. We also learned to make tinctures and are building up a little store of herbal medicines to use for ourselves and friends.
Francis has promised to come back and join us in June 2015 to teach a course in identification and use of local herbs. We will be working with local women to share knowledge and experience. If you are interested in joining Francis for the course, please email us (email@example.com).
Just over an hour’s drive from Wild Thyme is the archaeological site of Madara. It is the unique carving of the horse and rider that has earned world heritage status for this site, but there are many other archaeological treasures here.
The Madara horseman is a stone carving high up on the cliff face and is surrounded by Greek inscriptions commemorating the victories of three Bulgarian Tsars from the 8th and 9th centuries AD. The ruins of their capitals at Pliska and Veliki Preslav are just down the road but here at Madara was their cult centre.
There are temples and other ritual sites which date from the old Bulgarian period just before the conversion to Christianity. It was already a special place before this time and the eerie rock face and caves were used by the Thracians for temples. The museum exhibits some of the Thracian finds which includes a marble slab carved with the signs of the zodiac.
Later on, the cliff face was peppered with caves used by Christian hermits and the plateau above the cliff was the site of a medieval fortress. Occupied over so many centuries, it is easy to see why Madara has earned the title ‘the Bulgarian Troy’.
You can drive yourself to the site or join a Wild Thyme guided archaeological tour.