I'm not doing very well with regular blog posts this year, so here's a bit of a catch up on some things I've left hanging.
The big project. When I last wrote about these, I was waiting for sunshine to see how they'd do.
It turned out that we really do want a different temperature in the kitchen than the shower, so we were forever turning the valve up or down, and trying to remember where we'd left it. Also, the temperature at the shower head wasn't entirely determined by the valve in the cupboard across the hallway; whether or not the underfloor heating was on made quite a big difference to how much heat was lost between the two. Added to that, the valve started to get sticky. I think maybe these valves shouldn't be treated this way. We needed an upgrade. One new thermostatic mixer valve was purchased, plus a connector or two, and plumbed in.
At about three months old, the blackberry wine made with bread yeast was still pretty sweet, but pleasant and quite drinkable. That made with wine yeast, in contrast, was horrible. It was really rough, exactly like every home-brewed gutrot you've ever tipped into a potted plant when your enthusiastic home-brewing friend isn't looking.
My too-sweet beech leaf wine remains resolutely sweet. I chuck in a bit of yeast or some more vinegar from time to time, but nothing doing. I think I may have discovered the solution to the antibiotic time-bomb, as this stuff kills everything I throw at it. It's a new multi-purpose sterilising solution.
These are very nice.
Is mostly still alive. Many of the thinnest pieces died, but most of the thicker, more structural pieces have survived, and are putting out thin shoots of their own to replace the ones that died.
In our first February here, when I was carrying out a serious assault on the garden to get it ready for my first year of planting, I moved some crocosmia from a flower bed to a steep bit of hillside. It was hard work. While not yet the dazzling display of colour that I have seen from these plants, they're getting established nicely and give a good show of orange flowers scattered across the hillside.