Sunday, 11 October 2015

Late Cuttings

The newly repaired intelligent water heater arrived back this morning from its circuit board transplant. We got it reinstalled as early as we could, and it was up and running again by lunchtime. Not clear, yet, what went wrong with it, but hopefully the manufacturer will get to the bottom of that after testing.

The accumulator tank's lost heat, obviously, in a week of not being heated, but will hopefully be back up to operating temperatures within a few days.

We've spent a lot of the rest of the weekend in the garden, keeping it looking as good as possible for the rest of the season. I've mown and edged the lawn: it's growing really slowly, now, but still looks neater after it's mown. There was less than one hopper full of clippings, whereas it can be nearly five when it's growing at full speed—that's for a weekly cut. Liz has managed to weed practically the entire garden this weekend, another testament to how much slower things grow (and germinate) at this point in the year. I've taken a large number of cuttings: lots of achillea (the Cassis mix, the white, Inca Gold, and Lemon from the colour wheel and herb garden), more Verbena bonariensis
, another clutch of agryanthemum stems (which root in water, before potting them up), sage, box, and fuchsias—the unnamed ones in the front garden and in the long border, as well as Army Nurse, Hawkshead, and Delta's Sarah. I'm trying to get some layers of the Virginia Creeper (in full, fiery splendour at the moment, over the front of the house) to take, as well, though they're a slow affair. I've also divided a number of perennials, ready to pass on to a friend of Liz's who has a new border to fill: the variegated Gardener's Garters grass, the Golden Alexander lysimachia, three heucheras, and (these are seedlings potted up) sweet rocket, aquilegia, catananche, gaura, and wild strawberries. They await collection next week, with some cuttings, and spring-divided perennials, to follow next year.
Liz has spent some of this afternoon plastering the front wall of the sitting room, which looks much better. We're trying to get all of the downstairs plastering finished in the next few weeks, so we can also paint before the Christmas decorations go up. That's partly so it looks better for the six weeks the house will be decorated...and partly because we then won't be able to do any plastering or painting downstairs until mid January.

In between things, I also collected as many elderberries as I could—which isn't many. It doesn't look like a great year for them: most of the corymbs didn't have a high proportion of set berries, and they weren't as plump as they often are. Still: I bulked them (1.8kg) up to 3kg of fruit with some frozen blackberries, and have set off a 2 gallon batch of wine: fruit, boiling water, nutrient. Pectolase before I go to bed, and then yeast tomorrow. On Thursday (or maybe Friday), I'll strain onto sugar in two demijohns.

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