i was outside in the backyard when my parents returned home: apparently they went on a grocery run at the fresh pond trader joe's (hardly any wait) and also went to the post office. once again i had some avocado toast for lunch along with a glass of frozen orange juice.
i then spent the rest of the day doing all sorts of yard work, only coming inside for a brief break before going back out.
my father and i pruned the kwanzan flowering cherry; the best time to prune is after it's finished flowering. we did very little pruning last year after having just planted the tree in april. we removed branches that were either too close together or crisscrossed, as well as trimming for shape and symmetry. we also pruned a little bit of the redbud. slow-growing redbud branches are very hard, it took some effort to even cut the smallest branch. the flowering plum we didn't touch, although it could use a haircut as well; that will be a project for next weekend.
the cold damage on the dragon fruit cactuses continue to spread; my father had to slice another stem tip to control the damage. he said the bit he cut yesterday has already hardened, so maybe some of the cactuses can yet recover.
i was worried raccoons would return overnight and ransack my lotuses again but that didn't happen. they all seem to be doing okay, nothing exciting to report yet. i dropped some cherry blossoms to beautify the barrels. my father and i finally moved out the water reeds from the basement, the last of our basement plants. thus ends our basement grow room. we still need to clean up, and i put my pepper seedlings there to let them germinate. my father said we'd keep the grow room empty so it'd be ready to use again come next winter.
we tilled the soil in our raised beds and then i went ahead and plants a few things. even though the tomatoes all look too thin and twisted, they'd do better growing in the beds than in the plastic cups: 3 cherry tomatoes in RB1, 3 sandwich tomatoes in RB2, and 2 rutgers in RB3. in RB0 and RB3 i also planted some zucchini. then in the back of RB1, RB2, and RB3 i planted a combination of cucumbers, blue morning glories, and moonflowers. i saved half a dozen tomatoes for myself, 9 more for my sister, and 2 i selected for discarding because they looked too deformed, although my father said we could try plant them on some random corner of the yard.
there was a lot of fragrances in the backyard: on the western side were the lilacs, and on the eastern border were the lily-of-the-valleys along with solomon's seals. my father had attached the wire fencing underneath the backyard entrance door with some more heavy duty round "staples". i sprayed the eggplant seedlings with insecticidal soap and i sprayed the grapevines with serenade fungicide from a bottle. my father planted some more grass seeds. i did some weeding. we also planted a bunch of buttercup squash seeds all along the border of the yard. afterwards i was exhausted, having expended 12,982 steps according to my mi band fitness tracker.
my poor hands: my mother noticed over the weekend how incredibly damaged they were from all the hand washing i've been doing. they were so dry and rough, they felt like sandpaper. i even had little bloody cuts on my knuckles from where the skin split open that never seemed to heal. she gave me a jar of burt's bees res-q ointment (smells of lavender and rosemary). then while working the garden bare-handed, i once again got some contact dermatitis. most likely it came when i pulled up weeds from the lawn, just on the bottom palm of my right hand. but today i noticed a strip of itchy blisters on the edge of my left palm as well. finally, i managed to get a splinter in the first knuckle of my left index finger. i don't remember it happening, and it bothered me all day. after a shower i tried to remove it. a tip was poking out earlier, but somehow managed to slip further underneath my skin. armed with a alcohol-disinfected sewing needle, i attempted to dig out the splinter. it was not going to fun and it wasn't coming out. so i tried squeezing it, maybe if i could push out the tip just a bit, i can clamp it with tweezers. so i did that amazingly enough, the entire splinter just came out. it didn't look like a piece of wood; that's when i realized it's a cactus needle, from when i accidentally hit it when going up the basement stairs.