First day at the Victory Garden

I very nearly left the house without a jacket on Sunday morning.

Two hours into my first stint as a docent in the Victory Garden, I was simultaneously applauding my decision to actually grab my favorite grey hoodie and kicking myself for not grabbing my fleece jacket to go over it.

“I’m freezing,” I muttered to Lauren, who was volunteering with me that day. “I cannot believe I almost didn’t bring my hoodie.”

Lauren shook her head and zipped her fleece (while I stifled inadvertent envy) up a little further. We both eyed the cloud-thick sky. I wrinkled my nose at the mist. It felt like early spring in Iowa, not even close to what I consider summer.

Regardless of weather-related challenges (Note: bring many more layers this weekend…), this was a fairly low-key volunteer effort. I spent much of my time wandering around the garden taking pictures, and having conversations with the English-speaking visitors. As much as I like opera, I was of no help with the busload of Italian tourists who came through about 45 minutes into the morning, and even though I live in Oakland’s Chinatown, I wasn’t any help with the Chinese tourists, either.

At one point, the Garden Educator on site to keep us on task asked me to help her water some plants. I said I would, but then a woman walking by stopped at the fence around the garden to ask if there was a need for more volunteers, and so I wrote down the volunteer coordinator’s email address for her and talked to her for a few minutes about the garden, and by the time I turned back around, another volunteer had picked up the watering can and had taken over that job.

Dirty hands? Not really. But I can’t complain about spending a few hours wandering aimlessly through a pretty spectacular garden.

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13 Responses to “First day at the Victory Garden”


  1. 1 betsy July 29, 2008 at 5:54 am

    heen! i didn’t know you were doing this… though maybe you told me and my head’s been so far up in the clouds that i didn’t retain the info! how fun! :)

  2. 2 inadvertentgardener July 29, 2008 at 6:02 am

    Betsy, it has definitely already yielded some good/funny stories…stay tuned! :-)

  3. 3 Donna July 29, 2008 at 7:49 am

    It’s funny how California has a reputation for being sunny and warm with people running around in bathing suits. When I visited my niece several years ago in Monterey, she was intuitive enough to tell us Southerners to bring our jackets even if it was May. I’m enjoying your blog.

  4. 4 inadvertentgardener July 29, 2008 at 8:39 am

    Donna, I knew SF wasn’t warm in the summer, but that’s OK with me — the trade-off is that it won’t be cold in the winter! Thanks for reading!

  5. 5 Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) July 29, 2008 at 4:03 pm

    To me this sounds like a perfect morning — hanging in the garden, taking photos, and showing around people who are truly interested in what’s going on there. And the cool weather sounds like heaven to me!

  6. 6 Heather's Garden July 29, 2008 at 6:45 pm

    It’s hard to imagine CA being cooler than CT. I’m kind of disappointed for you that the experience hasn’t been more exciting, but like you said, there are worse ways to spend time.

  7. 7 inadvertentgardener July 30, 2008 at 7:21 am

    Lydia, the cool weather’s great…as long as I dress properly for it!

    Heather, oh…hold tight…there are exciting stories on the way, even if I didn’t get to garden. It is downtown San Fran, after all!

  8. 8 Patti July 30, 2008 at 7:26 am

    Have to ask a question. Since you live in Chinatown – by the way is that in SF or Oakland? Too lazy to go back and read your blogs again!! My hubby and I used to have a favorite eating place in SF Chinatown – called Ernie’s. Was just wondering if you knew if it is still there. It was pretty fancy back in its day!! Mabe it still is!

  9. 9 inadvertentgardener July 30, 2008 at 8:15 am

    Patti, it’s Oakland, and I haven’t done much exploration of SF’s Chinatown yet. I’ll keep an eye out for Ernie’s, though!

  10. 10 Al_Pal February 5, 2010 at 3:36 pm

    Hee, neat! ;)


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