i didn't realize my parents were calling me because i left my cellphone inside. i only saw them when they'd already pulled up to the front of my house. my father had dug up some fresh bamboo this morning and thought they might be a hot item at the plant swap i was going to later. they dropped them off on their way to chinatown for a supply run.
i was going to make a turkey sandwich for breakfast but my leftover roll of white bread had unexpectedly turned moldy. so i made a quick run to market basket to get some whole wheat bread and some lettuce.
i left close to noontime for the mid-cambridge plant swap at fayette park. it was my first time so i didn't know what to expect. in my mind i was thinking it'd actually be a genuine swap, where people would go around trading plants. how it works in practice however is people just leave their plants and whoever wants them can take them even if they don't have anything to swap. i don't like this system because the good plants were immediately snatched up, sometimes before they even made it to the "show room" floor.
besides a box of bamboos, i also had 2 trays of garlic ("chinese") chives and a batch of chinese lantern plants. i ended up taking a large clutch of hostas, several pale purple irises, some bleeding heart seedlings, half a dozen strawberries, and several solomon's seals. i ended up hanging around a bit longer, just to see what new plants might show up; i wasn't the only one, as there were several other "vultures" like myself.
some of the other gardeners were none too pleased that i'd brought some bamboos. "you better write it's invasive," one of them told me, and i did as instructed onto the name card. apparently that wasn't enough because then somebody else wrote "INVASIVE" on much larger print, and another person added "VERY INVASIVE." i could see them hovering over my bamboos, grumbling their displeasure. one lady in particular wanted to make sure nobody took any, following each person who'd picked up a bamboo and besieging them with bamboo horror stories. later i noticed the box was gone. "did somebody take the bamboo?" i asked them. no, apparently they hid the box as a service to the other gardeners.
at least one person took some bamboo that i know of before the garden gestapo threw the rest away. earlier somebody had already taken my chinese lantern plant, and by the time i left there was only one tray of garlic chives. i even tried to push the chives onto people who might not have been interested.
i'm kind of glad i didn't bring my good plants like the flowers i started from seeds (delphinium, shasta daisies, snapdragons) because i wouldn't want to share with these mean gardeners anyway. i still would've rather preferred a trade/barter system instead of a free-for-all. i wonder if there are other swaps (like in somerville), with people who are more appreciative of my plants?
riding back, i bumped into bruce and jack on their way to revere beach on this 80°F day. "last chance!" bruce told me. in hindsight i should've gone with them, but i went to belmont instead (via motorcycle) since i had a baby shower to go to later in the afternoon. but when i arrived in belmont there was nobody home and there wasn't any real gardening stuff to do so i was pretty bored for the next few hours - time that could've been spent on the beach!
i was only able to bring the strawberries from the plant swap; when my father came home around 4:00 we planted them by the peonies by expanding the brick border by a few inches. currently there are already strawberries growing there but they're the wild type that produce small and tasteless berries. we made good use of our compost and spread some underneath the peonies as fertilizer.
i left for cambridgeport close to 5:00 for rob and anya's baby shower, traveling down mt.auburn street from watertown and cutting across harvard square. this was the reason why i took my motorcycle, which made for faster travels.
their apartment wasn't anything to look at from the outside, but behind the house was an amazing secret garden with a bamboo fence and 2 small ponds including a working fountain and koi fishes. it's the kind of place where i just want to come back and hang out in the garden.
other than rob and anya, the only other person i recognized was shannon (from rob's barbecue last year). i had a lot of questions for rob but he was busy entertaining guests so i didn't get a chance to ask. for instance: a baby?! i only heard the news a few weeks ago when i got the invite for the baby shower. i'd seen them last december, and if my math is correct, they must've known about the pregnancy but just didn't tell me.
unfortunately i couldn't stay long and left soon after 6:00, to return to belmont for dinner. i picked memorial drive but there was some serious congestion approaching harvard square so i didn't get back until almost 6:30.
my mother made some squid nugget soup which in itself was already enough; but on top of that there was also a dish of braccoli, some thin-sliced pork with special soy pasta dipping sauce, some chicken, and some pan-fried raviolis.
i raced back to cambridge after dinner so i could catch game 1 between the 76er's (8th seed) and the celtics (4th seed). it's common knowledge that the only reason philadelphia is in the 2nd round of the playoffs is because the chicago bulls (1st seed) lost their 2 best players to injuries and basically imploded. i think the celtics were perhaps overly-confident and didn't play as aggressively as the 76er's, who grabbed the early lead. celtics were behind as much as 13 points but the game was competitive and boston would get their chances. celtics pulled ahead in the 2nd half, only to quickly lose the lead again. with minutes to go, the celtics finally regained the lead for the last time and won the game by a point. it should've never been this close, but hopefully boston learned their lesson (don't underestimate your opponents) and can quickly close out this series with a sweep (too optimistic?). it was an exciting game though, and in the final minutes i couldn't even sit down anymore, had to lie down on the floor in front of the television.