when i returned home by 11:30am, i noticed trucks were blocking the end of my street. turned out my neighbors were cutting down their flowering pear tree, which had been there for nearly 20 years. i went inside the house and watched them work from my living room. i was mesmerized, it took them less than 10 minutes to reduce a 2 decade old tree into wood chips. the man working the chainsaw seemed like a real character, never once smiled, smoking and chewing gum at the same time, working the cherry picker while also manning the chainsaw. when he got down to the lower trunk, he switched to a larger chainsaw, then an assistant took over cutting down the remaining trunk. a second assistant fed branches into the wood chipper. they left the stump behind, maybe they'll come back another day to grind it down. i thought cambridge had a moratorium on tree removal, even on private property, but maybe that's changed. it seemed like a perfectly healthy tree (other than that one time a microburst caused the tree to split in half), i wonder why my neighbors decided to get rid of it. also bear in mind i'd already worked on the tree myself, when i secretly cut off a branch in the middle of the night because it as blocking my view of the street. i guess i don't have to worry about that anymore.
my mother made some noodles for lunch when i arrived in belmont. i also had some of the smoked duck i bought yesterday.
i brought the germination heating pads for the dozen hyacinth beans which have yet to sprout. i dumped out all the pots in search of the seeds. most of them had rotted, the few that i managed to salvage ended up being rotten as well. so i was going to repack the pots and start over with a new batch of seeds. before i could do that though, my mother said she was going out for a walk and i went with her.
we went to the cemetery first, to check out the brilliant red azalea bushes and a few large flowering kwanzan cherry trees. i was there to sample the different lilac bushes growing along the border, but when we walked by them i couldn't smell a thing because they were above us. i also saw an old lady who had sawed off whole branches of lilacs and taking them back to her car.
from there we walked down cushing street to belmont street, coming out near sofra bakery. there were some really nice houses on cushing street, with matching nice gardens.
we then walked back via belmont street, passing by shangri-la, which was closing by month's end. they still seemed busy though, bags of takeout waiting by a table near the front of the restaurant. we took oxford avenue before turning down unity avenue. we were admiring the perennial flowers in a front yard garden opposite our old house, when a woman (karen) invited us to walk through her garden then came out of the house to give us a tour. she had some amazing specimens of tulips, multi-colored with different leaf patterns. she had these leafy greens which she let us sample, she thought they were rockets, but later when we got back home with a sample leaf for my father to try, i figured out it was some of mustard, mostly likely japanese red mustard, with a very pungent taste reminiscent of wasabi. karen also took out to the other side of her house where she had a shade garden of wild ginger, trilliums, and lily-of-the-valley.
we left at 1pm and didn't come back until 2:45pm. i went into the backyard to continue repotting the hyacinth beans. i think my father might've packed the soil too tightly and watered it too much. i pack the soil loosely, and i water from the bottom, then using a spray bottle to wet the top. i plant the seeds so they're barely covered in the soil, so they don't have to push too hard to emerge from the dirt. i planted two seeds per pot, for a total of 12. i then brought it inside so we could put it on a heating pad. the pad uses 24W of electricity. it took 20 minutes for the temperature to jump from 65°F (room temperature) to nearly 85°F.
these longer day lengths is still taking some getting used to, as i didn't realize it was already dinner time because it was still light out. after dinner i rode the motorcycle back to cambridge.
i got back home by 7:40pm then spent the next 1-1/2 hours working in my grow closet. i watered the seedlings, and discovered i forgot to turn on my fans. i plugged in my second heating mat, and put the larkspurs and rudbeckia seed starter containers, which have yet to sprout a single seedling. i added the 3 remaining hyacinth beans that haven't germinated yet. finally, i put 4 thai basil pots. this will let me know if the heating pad is really working or not, since i have 4 thai basil pots in the grow closet. another bitter melon has sprouted, and i checked the other pots. 2 more will sprout in a day or two, but one of the pots the bitter melon seed has rotted, so i replanted a new seed. i squeezed that bitter melon onto the heating pad as well.
then came time to remove additional seedlings and transfer them to their own pots. one of the hyacinth beans had two sprouts, while 3 more buttercup squash had germinated their 2nd seed. it's easier to do this surgery when the seedlings are still young, not a lot of roots that might potentially get damaged. one thing i noticed about the hyacinth beans is they rot easily. on one seedling, one half of the cotyledon fell off because of rot. in another, the cotyledons never opened and the first leaves was struggling to through, and managed to poke through a rotten spot in the cotyledon. maybe the seeds had too much mold on them, making them more susceptible to rot.
only then was i able to use the bathroom and take a shower.