my father had the day off today because he needed to go to the hospital to get an ultrasound done on his heart. after i made a prosciutto egg english muffin sandwich for breakfast, i left for belmont. it wasn't supposed to rain today but it rained last night so the grounds were still wet. the sky also stayed grey for most of the day and the temperature was on the cool side. i stopped to admire a white flowering pear which have all blossomed and seem to be growing everywhere. there's actually some controversy regarding these pears: originally thought of as sterile, they seemed the perfect tree with their pretty white flowers in the spring and color foliage in the fall. unfortunately they cross-pollinated with other species of pears which in turn made them fertile again. their fruits weren't fit for human consumption but birds ate them which in turn spread these new hybrid pears around, making them into an invasive species. nowadays most nurseries no longer carry these pears.

when i got to my parents' house in the late morning i was surprised to see that my father was already home. so was hailey, who either wanted to go out and play with bubbles or stay in the house and sleep.

in the afternoon my father and i went down to the watertown home depot to see what new selections they have in their garden department. the road that used to cut by marshalls is now gone, the reason being they finally closed marshalls and tore down that building to make way for new construction. the watertown home depot is actually the smallest of the home depots (they don't even sell peat moss). as a result, they didn't have very many trees. they had some flowering peaches which confirmed my recent identification of peaches elsewhere. next time, we should visit a different home depot (like the one in waltham) for more selection.

next we went across town to the winchester mahoney's. my father had a $10 credit on his loyalty card (from the 2 trees we bought last month) and on tuesdays there's a 10% seniors discount. even before we went inside, i already spotted these amazingly brilliant magenta fuchsia flowering trees from the street. these weren't the yoshino cherries or prairiefire crabapples crowding the front of the entrance. no, these were actually redbuds, 'appalachian red.' typically red buds have a pink-violet color, unlike these. they've been pruned so all the flowering branches stand on top of a tall tree trunk, like a bonfire of colors. price per tree? $350 (2" diameter).

we checked out some of their other trees. they had some red-leaf plums that still had plenty of flowers. turned out they're thundercloud plums, a variety similar to krauter vesuvius. these were available when we bought our trees last month, but the thunderclouds were smaller (15 gallon pots) and we ended up choosing a larger a flowering plum (25 gallon). they had some unsold KV plums which looked like the one we have at home, although some trees had slightly more flowers than others.

they had some peaches and pears, but my father is against getting any fruiting trees due to squirrels and birds. we did see some 20th century asian pears that peaked our interest, but these require two pears in order to produce fruits. there was a selection of quinces, with different colors, though none appealed to us. we did notice that the latest trend seems to be thornless quinces, not sure how well they produce fruits. there were pots of pink flowering almonds my father almost bought. i didn't think they were very nice, didn't even have any fragrance. as far as trees and bushes go, they didn't seem to have a lot of selection this season. maybe it's still early, and a lot of trees still haven't flowered yet. once the blossoms come out, the place totally changes, and people become more interested in buying trees/bushes.

we went inside the greenhouse and out back to the perennial flowers. we saw jasmines, christmas cacti, dahlias, and passionflowers. they also sold raspberry canes at $10/pop, of which we had a bunch that we'll probably just throw away. we ended up leaving empty-handed.