most of the day was spent working in the backyard before guests started arriving around 4pm for the first post-pandemic barbecue. weather today was hot and sunny for the most part, but thick cumulous clouds would quickly darken the sky for a brief drizzle before clearing up again. the gardenia flower from yesterday has opened up some more today, now it looks like a white rose. i kept sniffing it, trying to figure out where i've smelled this before, seems like some chinese household cleaner scent. we also prepared RB0 and RB1 and planted the butternut squashes and the long beans. my father made two rows of hills for planting the squash. in the valley in between we can plant some more things like eggplants, but for the time being i sprinkled some cilantro seeds. we also planted long beans in the southern trellis bed. i planted the 3 bittermelon seedlings behind the garlics. finally we prepped RB4, but only laid out the seedlings, not going to plant them until tomorrow. later in the evening i moved the gardenia back in the basement stairwell with the tarp cover, since i heard temperature was going to dip into the mid-50's tonight.
my father went to go pick up my aunt in the late afternoon. when they returned by 4pm, he started on the barbecue. soon after my aunt and uncle arrived. it was hard trying to man the grill (making sure not to scorch the drumsticks) while at the same time giving a garden tour. not much action in the garden anyway, come back in a month to see more flowers and bigger vegetable plants. as far as a first barbecue with guests it was okay, but we didn't have our normal staples of burgers and barbecue corn. the weather also wasn't very cooperative, the clouds above kept on churning, threatening downpours. at one point we even heard some thunder and there were a few brief periods of spring showers, the kind where it's raining but the sun is also shining at the same time. fortunately the large maple tree acted like a natural umbrella.
the barbecue was over after 7pm. the sky grew increasingly darker, and my mother kept urging me to get home before it started raining again, but it was all bluff, a check of the doppler radar showed the rain south of boston, and the weather was actually about to clear up. riding back home, i noticed some dramatic clouds, and in hindsight i should've stayed a bit longer in belmont so i could launch the drone and get some dramatic cloud photos.
tonight was the mid-season finale of HBO's the nevers and episode 5 of mare of easttown. i finished watching the nevers (so good!) but didn't have time to see mare, which i'll save for tomorrow.