torii gate, flowers, fennel and tea

Our visit to the garden was mellow and signifies that I am up and about. Thank you heating pad! Emma asks to visit the gardens more than Fairyland. It may be strange but for us it is a magical place.

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I love that the garden features a torii gate. They gate signifies that you are entering a scared space and in Japan they are placed at the front of a shrine. I assume that the gate and lanterns were placed in the garden as symbols of Frank Ogawa’s heritage. Frank Ogawa was the first Japanese American to serve on the Oakland City Council and worked for the parks department for five years before that. When he died the city hall plaza was renamed in his honor.

Fun Fact about Ogawa from wikidpedia: Anna Eshoo said, “Having served five years on the Oakland Parks Commission, Frank Ogawa was elected to the city council in 1966, making him the first Japanese-American to hold a council seat in a major city in the continental United States. He held that position for 28 years until his passing — the longest tenure in Oakland’s history.”

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Editor’s Note: according to this article in the Bold Italic, the torii gate was gifted to Oakland from the city of Fukuoka in Japan!

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All pink and yellow and happy at the Lake Merritt Gardens.

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Fennel is my favorite. I love the wild flowers, the scent, the crunchy and flavorful vegetable. It reminds me of bike rides along the Bay Trail and it grows wild all over Berkeley, filling the empty lots with tall yellow blooms. I don’t eat it as much as I want to but I am going to change that for sure.

I tasted the mint growing in the garden and thought about how exciting the cooler weather we have been having is for us. We love bundling up a little and having something warm to drink. Bought some Yogi tea with licorice on the way home from our walk at the garden. I love to drink herbal tea and of course share with it Emma. As you can see Emma was excited that it was overcast enough to wear her raincoat today!

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Clover’s treasures.

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