As a part of my New Year’s vow to challenge my comfort zones – emotional, mental and physical – I accepted the invitation to become a Volunteer Weeder at the new Ventura Botanical Gardens. Twice a month, I join the other weeders at the entryway to the gardens, and dig out common mallow, bindweed, spurge, and poison hemlock(!). We’ve also been planting California natives along the trailhead to the Gardens. This led to my first experience planting cactus. Needless to say, this is an activity best pursued with extreme caution! (So speaks the woman who had to have her husband remove several cactus spines from her foot with a magnifying glass and tweezers.)
As comfort zone challenges go, it’s not the toughest I’ve tackled in 2016 – since I LOVE to garden. But, this task does get me out of my own yard and into a new environment, scrambling over rocks (and between cactus spines), and has introduced me to wonderful fellow volunteers and given me a chance to talk to some of the many people who regularly hike the Garden trail. It also means that twice a month, I’ll be spending time at the Ventura Botanical Gardens – and that’s a pretty sweet way to spend part of a day.