i always seem to be doing the most inappropriate tasks on the hottest days of the summer season (which officially began today). the temperature officially hit 97°F in boston. walking around outside was more like swimming around in a thick sticky miasma of unbearable humidity. i was in my community garden to do some weeding and watering, after having neglected it for almost a week. i thought i'd be alone since who else would be crazy enough to be in the garden in the middle of the day on the hottest day of the year (so far)? but turns out the woman who has the plot next to mine was just as crazy as i was. actually, it was her mother, tending to her daughter's garden since she's currently preoccupied with newborn twins. she may have in fact been actually crazy, because she kept repeating herself, but left soon afterwards.

i was ready for the worst but it seems most of the mulberries have already fallen and there was hardly anymore berries on the new layer of mulch i put down last week. this may be worth writing down, that the best strategy seems to be a thin base layer mulch, then once the falling is almost over, another layer to cover up the mess.

white snapdragons have already emerged at my parents' place but they're only now emerging in my own community garden plot. the snapdragons as a whole are doing very well in my garden, partly i think because they get more sun exposure than at my parents' place. so far only pinks and whites, i haven't seen any other colors here.

shasta daisies are another new flower i've started this year. unlike the snapdragons (which may or may not survive into next season depending on how cold it is this winter), shasta daisies are true perennials. once established, they'll bloom for years to come. they don't seem to be doing as well as the snapdragons (maybe because they're currently growing inconspicuously low to the ground) but they get a little bigger every week and already some of them have started to produce immature flower buds. my early dream of having a cut flower garden may become a reality!

i also have 3 delphiniums which have been slow to mature. the ones i have at my parents' were chewed up by slugs but are still alive (barely). delphiniums bloom in june-july, but the ones that i have have barely enough leaves let alone produce any flowers. fortunately they are hardy perennials, so if they don't flower this year, they'll try again next summer.

finally, it never fails to amaze me how fast squashes can grow. they were small last week, but 6 days later, what a difference! they're big now, and i sort of regret growing them so close to together (a zucchini and some other kind of fast-growing squash). now flowers yet which is nice, because that's what attracts the squash vine borers. i small another gardener with some squash plants that were smaller than mine that were about to flower. maybe the SVB will infect those plants first!

when i returned home completely saturated in sweat, i took my 2nd shower of the day.

after my father dropped by in the afternoon to pick up the curbage lawn chairs, i got on my motorcycle (too hot for bicycling) and went to belmont, where i was awaiting my parents' return so my father and i could pay a visit to home depot on a community garden materials fact finding mission.

earlier i'd figured out the total length of wood we needed to buy for the raised beds. we weren't adverse to using pressure treated wood, since the technology has improved now that they use copper instead of arsenic. the total length was about 120 feet, and it'd cost us less than $100 to buy all the wood we needed.

we also managed to buy a bag of mesquite wood for smoking, some face masks for house prepping, and a larger paint scraper tool. i was also looking for some spray paint for use on those old plastic lawn chairs, but home depot only carries rustoleum when i wanted krylon. due to the intensely hot weather, probably 1 out of every 10 customers had at least one air conditioner in their pushcart, if not more.

my parents already put in one of their air conditioners, a floor unit that my father found, a brand called fedders with no manufacture date. it's old enough to have a label that said, "made in PRC." when have you ever seen that before? it worked okay, but still can't beat a window unit for maximum cool. last year they put in a window unit but they don't like it because it blocks too much sunlight.

back at home, i found LJ already preparing for bed it seems (8:30). weird thing was she had her laptop in the bathroom with her (as usual, she had the door opened, that's how i know); maybe she was watching a video (i know i've done that before). she seemed dumbfounded over the sudden jump in temperature. i reassured her it wasn't normal, but who really can predict new england weather? to think, just yesterday she was complaining how cold it was!