my father came to pick me up around 10:30am so i could help clear the two empty bedrooms at the concord apartment so contractors can come tomorrow and do some light renovation work (repanel the walls and ceilings, put down some new flooring). it's the 3rd consecutive day i've been there. it seemed daunting at first, so much furniture, but we started with the small stuff, and before we knew it, both rooms were cleared out (save for one or two large furniture items too big to move). most of the furniture went into the backyard storage shed, some stuff went into the closets, and a few things went into my sister's godmother's room (like mattresses; that room won't be renovated for the time being) or the bathroom.
we finally finished by 2pm, more than 3 hours of moving. i sat down gingerly at the cafe, where i ate a croissant along with some leftover mince pork and beans dish my 2nd aunt had made. while my father went to the bank to deposit some money, i rode the motorcycle to belmont.
so i finally took out my motorcycle from storage, thus beginning the riding season. i could've done it weeks ago, but it's been so rainy this month, i wanted to wait until the weather got better, and also for cambridge to finish with street cleaning. today was probably the only day i could ride as it looks to be rainy the rest of the week. i was actually surprised that i still remembered how to ride, even though it hasn't been that long (i put the bike away in early january), though it felt like forever. my father helped me get the bike out of the shed this morning. after i installed the battery, the bike didn't start on the first few tries. it couldn't have been the temperature, as today was in the 60's. it took a minute for the fuel to recirculate into the engine before it finally started with the choke turned on.
with the hours remaining in the afternoon my father and i did some yard work on this mild dry day before forecast of rain for the rest of the week. while my father pruned dead branches off of the eastern cypresses, i relocated the perennials foxgloves and shasta daisies in raised bed 3 (rb3) to other parts of the backyard; having perennial flowers in the raised bed is pretty, but a waste of valuable growing real estate. i moved most of the foxgloves underneath the grapevines, while the shasta daisies i transferred to a patch of empty space in the southern bed near the KV plum. afterwards i dumped half a bundle of peat moss into rb3 to fluff up the garden soil. now there's more room for vegetables, especially given how i've used up a lot of existing raised bed spaces to grow my korean red garlic.
the southern garden bed is the area around the two trees we recently planted. there are a bunch of plants growing there: two large clumps of hostas, spiderworts, ornamental grass, violets, goldenrods, scillas, crocuses, garlic mustards, and creeping bellflowers. it gets a good amount of sun exposure. along the eastern and western edges are relocated 2nd year money plants. and now we've added shasta daisies and foxgloves.
maybe it's the lack of sun, but the kwanzan cherry blossoms are flowering slowly. this isn't just in our backyard, it's all over the place, so maybe it's the way kwanzans develop. kwanzan flowers are so mutates - a standard cherry blossom has 5 petals, kwanzans have upwards of 20+ petals - that even their reproductive organs change into petals. there are also weird things like stamens turning into leaves.
because the bareroot kwanzan cherry tree is so sparse, it's actually easier to study how the tree grows. flower buds only appear at the end of branches. i checked with the other kwanzan and that appears the case as well, although on that kwanzan some flower buds also grow out from the sides of branches. on the bareroot tree there are some long buds forming on the sides, maybe those will become flower buds.
the hawthorn is a polite tree, doesn't get diseases or insects, grows slowly but reliably, white flowers in the spring, discreet leaves in the summer, red and yellow leaves come fall, and red berries in the winter. it's almost too polite, to the point of being a little boring.
some money plants (lunarias) are flowering, at least those we didn't transplant to new spots last season. they can be a little invasive, but their biennial nature makes them easy to get rid of if you really don't want them. the quince is flowering, slightly post peak at this point, with no real good weather to showcase it's overall beauty. once it's done flowering we're going to prune it a bit, clean up some of the dense branches. this is one of those old school quinces with thorns.
the behind-the-garage peony plant has developed some flower buds. this plant seems to be doing better and better every year, with more pink flowers every season. i'm taking the leftover raspberry canes to the mid-cambridge plant swap on saturday. i also have some willow branches which i heard will develop roots if kept soaking in water. the rootless wisteria bush seems to be doing well, leafing out a bit from its buds.
concord grapes have started to leaf out, soft velvety leaves edged in red. the red columbines have formed some flower buds. they can flower for quite a while, all the way to mid-summer and beyond. lilies-of-the-valley have sprouted, slowly taking over the shady eastern garden.
after dinner i looked forward to going home because 1) i didn't have to ride the bicycle, 2) the motorcycle is much faster, 3) and not having to bounce on a bike seat would be better for my hemorrhoids. soon after i got home i put the cover over the motorcycle since it's going to rain overnight.
i was afraid to use the bathroom due to the discomfort, but i had to go. i think i must've had a petrified fecal plug because after i painfully passed it (i couldn't see it but i'd imagined my butthole torn to shreds) it was relatively smooth (soft) sailing the rest of the way, and i began to feel better immediately.
i rewatched last night's episode of game of thrones. i heard a lot of online complaints of how it was too dark but i didn't have any of that problem. one thing i learned when i watched it with the closed captioning on was jorah's last words before he died, "i'm hurt."
when i finally went to bed, i had none of the discomfort of last night, and i was able to sleep on my back once more.