it was a hot and humid day, with a persistent overcast that blocked out the sun yet still kept the sky bright with diffused lighting. i wore the shorts i bought at primark yesterday. they're size 33 (i typically wear 31) but they fit well enough, a bit more clearance so it doesn't feel tight.
the first thing we did was to move the peonies from their current shady location to the new sunny perennial bed. i didn't think it was that long ago that i relocated the peonies from their original home on the eastern side of the yard (currently a shady perennial bed full of hostas and lily-of-the-valleys) to the western side, but it was actually almost 9 years ago. it then took 3 more years for the relocated peonies to flower. i remembered the underground roots were small, like ginseng. but that was because they were stunted growing in the shady eastern bed. when we dug them out this time around, the roots were massive (more than a foot long), long slender tendrils like thin daikon radishes. hopefully this means they won't take another 3 years to flower, but at the very least we don't expect them to flower by next season. we ended up digging 7 large plants, like pulling out octopuses from the dirt, and 2 smaller plants that we planted one behind the sage (morbidly adding an unearthed dead mouse carcass as fertilizer) and one amongst the spiderworts. as for the remaining 7, we formed a peony fence on the back edge of the perennial bed. we'd dug holes earlier, and i even told my father not to dig so deep, but after pulling out the peony roots, we realized we had to dig even deeper. a few delicate leafy branches had snapped off during the excavation, and a few more were already rotting from lack of sun.
next we moved the hydrangea, also living in the shade next to the lilac shrubs. it was difficult to dig out because it was tangled up with lilac roots. when we finally dug it out, it probably lost a lot of delicate roots, that's why after we planted it, all the leaves began to wilt from lack of proper turgir pressure.
we dumped out the jerusalem artichokes so we could reuse the large plastic pot and plant the tubers underground. unfortunately there were no tubers left, all of them having rotted over the winter. as for the pot, after we drilled some new drainage holes, we transplanted one of the wisteria trees. after it was properly planted, we set it on one of the tree stumps. we did the same with the second large pot, first drilling some new drainage, before relocating the other wisteria tree, which ended up on the second tree stump. it's too late for wisteria flowers, but hopefully after the repotting to bigger pots and some end of season pruning, we might see some wisteria flowers next year.
we planted the purple climbing clematis by the back fence (southern). my father set up some wire mesh trellis for the vine to climb on. our backyard neighbors having clematis growing on the other side of the fence as well. i plan on seeding some moonflowers and relocating some cypress vine seedlings i saw in RB4.
we'd been working nearly 4 hours in the backyard (from 11am to 3pm) before we finally called it quits. i hadn't planted my seedlings yet, but i'd do that later today after some rest or probably tomorrow.
we came inside where my mother prepared some noodles for us as a late lunch. i took a quick shower before i ate, the salty sweat stinging my eyes.
around 5pm my father and i were back outside. he continued working on the clematis trellis, i began planting a border of shasta daisies and red chrysanthemums. after that i planted the vegetable seedlings in RB1 and RB2. i dug up the kale growing in RB1, my father collecting the tender leaves to eat, being careful not to pick any with caterpillars. planting the seedlings is rather involved: besides digging the hole, i also add a small scoop of plant-tone fertilizer, and then after putting the seedling in the ground, i reuse the plastic cup and cut a collar for the plant to prevent rabbits from chewing the seedlings.
i was finally done by 6:20pm. when i came back inside, my father told me weren't having dinner since we already ate around 3:30pm. but my mother cooked up some steaks anyway, along with more asparagus.
by the time i returned home, i could feel the weather changing. the temperature had dropped into the lower 70's and there was a strong cool breeze. we hit the 80's today, but tomorrow's high will be in the lower 60's. i for one look forward to the cooler weather, i don't like it when it gets this hot and humid. but it will also be a wet sunday, periods of steady rain and drizzle. hopefully there will be some breaks in between and i can plant the rest of my seedlings.
despite the overcast, today we still made about 68% of our maximum production. i don't expect such high numbers tomorrow, and monday looks to be cloudy as well (but not raining). it seems like every weekend we've had cloudy and rainy weather. the weather forecaster said we haven't had a sunny weekend since the first week of april.
there's no deny it any further: my new upstairs neighbors are actually noisier than steve and paul. it all began a few days ago when i heard this annoying humming sound while i was going to bed. turning out it's from the noisy air conditioner on the third floor. i just feel bad for renee, who's bedroom is almost directly across from the loud AC. and then there's the television noise. maybe the volume isn't actually that loud, but the bass on the audio penetrates throughout the house and it sounds like somebody is running a generator next door. so even though i haven't met them yet, i now pray for the same kind of peace i pray for when steve and paul are here. to think: in 3 more months, another couple will be living upstairs for another 3 months. i may never know quiet again.