mangaroo was kind enough to agree to go with me, and on Saturday she drove us north to the nursery to check out the selection. I had made a list in advance of a number of different varieties that had qualities that appealed to me, and I sought out the ones that the nursery had in stock. They have trees in many different sizes, from tiny grafted seedlings to huge potted specimens ten feet tall. We spent about two hours exploring (and attempting to avoid spiders) before I finally settled on a couple that I wanted to buy. The first that I chose was Margaret B (pictured with its leaves just starting to be tinged with red around the edges), which not only shares a name with megory, it just happened to be her birthday when I bought it. The second was Omureyama (pictured tied to a bamboo stake against a backdrop of chocolate mint), which when fully grown will have a graceful cascading form. There were many other lovely varieties, but I just don't have room for any more.
After leaving the nursery, we headed to Richmond to visit the gardens of Annie's Annuals and Perennials. They have a lovely display garden buzzing with hummingbirds and other wildlife, in addition to hundreds of fascinating plants for sale. My balcony is already crowded, but I couldn't help purchasing three flowers...including (for you SGA fans out there) this cute fuchsia with the variety name "Ruddy Rodney."
In other random news, I finally received an appointment to have my Japanese language ability assessment next Monday. If I can score at least 2 (on a scale of 1 to 5), I'll get an extra percentage bonus to my salary for using Japanese at least 10% of the time at work. I wish it were a paper test, particularly since most of my language use consists of reading ingredients on food packaging, but sadly it's a telephone interview. I'm not at my best when speaking on the telephone, even in English. Oh, well, I'll just have to hope they don't want to chat about politics or sports.