I did manage to get two new trees planted. I put a crabapple tree in front of each guest room window, and I plan to espalier them on a trellis my dad built for me. They don't get a lot of sun on that side of the house, but hopefully they will at least give guests something to look at besides the worn old fence. If they produce fruit in a few years, that will be a nice bonus. Maybe I'll get a chance to try making pickled crabapples, which is apparently something my grandmother used to do.
I got a little weeding done, though not as much as I'd hoped. I'm trying an experiment this year, growing vegetables in a ring around my fruit trees, along with a cover crop of clover. I'm hoping it will shade out the weeds to cut down on labor as well as attract pollinators. One of the new crops I'm trying this year is a vegetable called salsify, which is a relative of the dandelion generally grown for its parsnip-like root (though reportedly the greens are also edible). After I planted it, I was reading about it online, and I realized that I had seen some growing along the side of the road on my path to the bus stop. The large purple flowers that mature into dandelion-like puffball seed heads--except about five times bigger--are quite distinctive. I wonder if that roadside patch escaped from someone's garden. At least it shows that the plant grows well here.
Despite my general lack of daylight hours to get everything done, I did have a few minutes at the end of the day to sit on my newly assembled bench under the pergola and just enjoy the view. The garden is still pretty bare from winter dormancy, but things are starting to wake up. The camellia flowers are leading the way. The ume blossoms are visibly swelling and will begin opening before long. The new autumn olive and goumi bushes are beginning to produce small leaves. And in the garden, the deep red cabbage I planted at the end of summer last year is nearly ready to harvest. ...Oh, yes, and there's the stray cat climbing over my fence in the hope of using my patch of freshly weeded ground as a litterbox.