i went down to the community garden this morning to water my plants before the cambridge secret garden event started at 10am, to beat the crowd as it were. i saw ann there but didn't say hi to her as she seemed lost in her garden plot and i didn't want to disturb her like i did last time. she was the one who said hello to me before leaving. once i finished watering i started to head out, but ann intercepted me and said she had a question for me (it was about a tick she'd found). that's when jane was going to ask us if the chair sitting outside the garden belonged to anyone, but ann very rudely cut her off (i don't even think she recognized who jane was) and told jane to wait her turn. i was a little taken aback by her rudeness, and i tried to diffuse the situation by letting jane know that i'd move the chair afterwards. the more i interact with ann, the more i'm starting to see she's not a very good person. i wonder if she's autistic, because she seems to be lacking in some common social skills. like how she asked me for a bitter melon seedling, and when i gave her one, she said she didn't want it anymore, then a week later asked for one again; or how she asked for a ride to home depot from fellow gardeners so she could get soil, and after nearly half a dozen responded to her request, she told them never mind a few days later, only to ask for a ride again.
i tried looking for my noise cancelling headphones but couldn't find them anywhere. there's only so many places it could be, but i checked everywhere in the house and they just weren't here. i even entertained the crazy idea that maybe somebody came into the house on one of those occasions when i don't lock the front door and stole the headphones. the only other logical reason as to why they'd be gone is because it accidentally fell in the trash can (it usually sits on the table right next to the trash can) and i threw it out without looking. i didn't pay very much for these taotronics headphones - originally they were $60 but i only paid $37 after a sale. i hardly ever use them because i would never wear it outside so that i couldn't hear oncoming traffic, so they're exclusively indoors. i only wear them for music, when i want to totally immerse myself in the audio and don't want to be disturbed. anyway, the upside of accidentally tossing out my headphones is i can now buy a new pair, better and cheaper.
i left for belmont by 11am. maybe it was just my imagination, but i thought i saw groups of people walking around cambridge with secret garden booklets, touring the various gardens around town. i'd been to them in the past, so i knew what to expect, even though there are probably a lot of new gardens since the last time i went nearly 20 years ago. the moment i arrived at my parents' place, i changed into a pair of shorts and was working in the backyard for most of the day. the weather was very nice, warm, dry, comfortable.
my father and i repotted a few plants, including one of the oldest jasmines. when we pulled it out of the pot, we discovered there was barely any drainage holes. my father drilled some new holes in the pot, and we loosened the root ball to aerate the roots. to the pot i added a layer of potting soil, followed by a layer of compost, sprinkled with osmocote slow-release fertilizer pellets, then a final layer of potting soil.
we closed down the basement grow room for the summer and moved out all the remaining plants: 4 dragon fruit cactuses, a reed plant, 2 prayer plants, a small jade plant, a pothos that never seems to grow, and a tray of orchids. we trimmed off any thin shoots from the cactus, we've been doing that all winter long, but managed to miss a few; those won't grow any larger, and new fatter cactuses from emerge from the tips once they get a taste of that hot summer heat. normally the reed plant lives next to the barbecue grill, but we decided to put it next to the basement entrance near the hose spigot, since i'm not growing lotuses this year, so we have more space in the backyard.
we relocated all the jasmines to the plant stand and sprayed them with neem oil to kill any mealybugs. my father added some osmocote fertilizer and added a thin layer of potting soil as a mulch. he also trimmed the jasmines, which stimulates them to produce new shoots, which results in more flowers.
the biggest backyard project however was making chickenwire cages for the long bean seedlings in the southern bed. we though we protected them yesterday when we used empty milk cartons and whatever else we could find to block the ends of the long chickenwire rows we used to protect the seedlings. however this morning i saw more seedlings had been eaten. if we didn't act fast, we won't have anymore long bean seedlings in the southern bed (we don't have anymore seeds either, we used them all up). i found a discarded roll of used chicken wire a while back, and we managed to cut it up and roll them into cages. hopefully this will save some of the seedlings. we still have plenty of long bean seedlings in the raised beds fortunately, rabbits (or whatever critters) haven't seemed to discover them yet.
i also pruned the tops of the hop bines, as well as the wisteria, and a tiny bit of cherry plum. there's more pruning to be done, including the yew bushes in the front yard, as well as the lilacs, the kwanzan cherry, and more of the cherry plum. the bamboos could also use a trimming.
i planted some more squash seeds in the western bed, then put row cages over them to give them some protection, or at least make it harder for squirrels to dig up the seeds. i'm not sure if it's squirrels that's causing all this havoc in the backyard, because i saw a chipmunk today, near the sun room rain barrels. i think it lives there, because i saw it more than once today.
finally i repotted the orchids. during the winter we got these plastic clear pots with holes on the side specially designed for orchids that we never used. they're much bigger than the pots the orchids currently live in, which are small terracotta pots with no drainage holes. hopefully these new aerated pots will allow the orchids to grow better.
my father installed two battery terminals on the top of the battery box after figuring out the best spot for them. we also ordered another battery box and 2 12v outlet panel with USB and cigarette lighter socket. it also comes with a voltage display but we're not really confident it'll be accurate, but all the panels with on/off buttons have voltage display readouts so we had no choice but to get it.
my mother cooked up a jar of fermented long beans for dinner. they've been jarred up since september of last year, so nearly 9 months. surprisingly, there was no mold or yeast in the jar. when i opened it up though, it had a weird hospital chemical smell, maybe like acetone. this happened to another jar of fermented long beans a while back, and those beans ended up having an off taste. i tried a piece - it was still crispy, and salty, and spicy - still perfectly edible. my mother cooked the beans with some minced beef and chopped backyard cilantro.
i left belmont by 7:30pm. i raced back home to watch game 2 of the NBA finals. celtics managed to match the warriors intensity for the first half, and were down by just 2 points going into the break. however the wheels completely came off in the 3rd quarter, when golden state lead by 20+ points, and i think even as much as 30+ points. there was no coming back from that, and ime udoka emptied in the bench in the 4th quarter. they managed to cut the lead down to 18 points by the time the game was over. boston squandered an opportunity to put the hurt in golden state had they won and gone up by 2-0 in the series. seems like the celtics are willing to do it the hard way, play all 7 games. hopefully boston can bounce back, next game wednesday night.
oh, and i ended up finding my noise cancelling headphones after all. they were hidden on a stack of boxes behind the couch. because the headphones are in a black case, it was easy to miss. so no, i wasn't stupid enough to accidentally throw them away in the trash that i originally thought.