after getting some lunch at the cafe my father and i went back to my parents' place to work on the garden. having not been back in a few weeks, i noticed the recently seeded section of the lawn had already grown out. i also saw the mcmansion one of the neighbors was building (hard to miss, even without the noisy jamaican carpenters working on a saturday), a 3 story monstrosity that looked more like a ginormous gazebo than a quaint suburban home. we made an inventory of what we needed and went to the watertown home depot. we were looking for 4x4" blanks to use for the garden borders, but they were all pressure-treated. instead we left with 11 bags of cedar mulch to dress up the front edgings of the house. it started raining when we left but soon cleared up when we got home.
back in belmont, we started clearing out the garden, overgrown with grass and weeds. since it'd been a garden before, the soil was still in pretty good condition. just clearing out the garden took hours, and when we were finally done, we mixed in some peat moss before i planted 7 peppers and 6 tomatoes (i put tomato cages around them all), with enough room for basil, cilantro, and cucumbers in the near future. since i have some sunflower seeds, maybe i can add them to the repertoire as well. it's weird to be doing all this garden work when i won't be here to see it. hopefully my father will take some photos while i'm away. afterwards we watered with some leftover water that'd been sitting around the backyard. some dead dandelions had been soaking in this water so it smelled pretty foul, but supposedly it's full of organic nutrients which might possibly make for good fertilizer (because that's pretty much what it smelled like).
all that digging naturally brought up some critters. most common were the earthworms; whenever i could help it i'd relocate them to somewhere else so i wouldn't cut them in half with my digging tool. there was one worm in particular, a giant, and when i went to pick it up, it spewed this mucus slime all over my hand, i've never seen that before. there were also the green cutworms and the white japanese beetle grubs. for the most part i have a very non-violent attitude towards insects. i never kill spiders and when a fly enters the house i open a window to make it leave. however, when it comes to cutworms and beetle grubs, i am ruthless, placing them under my shoe and crushing them. i must've killed at least 2 dozen easily. i have no love for these garden pests. i also found moth pupae; they're probably bad (may be the near-adult stage of cutworms, not sure) but they seem too intricate and alien to destroy, so i just left them on a fence post and hope that maybe some birds will eat them.
by day's end i was covered with dirt, my hair a complete mess, my glasses streaked with dried sweat. i went inside to take a shower. when my mother came home we ordered pizza (sausage and garlic). before it got dark, my father and i went back outside to lay down the cedar mulch. afterwards i got a ride back to cambridge.