Tag Archives: bonsai garden at lake merritt

how Emma became an intern at the garden

We have been visiting the Gardens of Lake Merritt since we moved here when Emma turned two.

She has always wanted to grow up and be a helper in the bonsai garden.

The master gardeners have been very patient with her and over the years invited her to watch and learn.

During the pandemic she showed up a lot more often, willing to help out in any way she could. There was lots of sweeping and raking leaves which she loved.

Now they give her small jobs like weeding with tweezers. She likes being trusted with the care of their special trees.

The docents and gardeners are mostly older and appreciate her eagerness. They tell me she is very polite and always welcome.

For a child who is stuck at home with her parents it is a blessing to learn from someone new, and to see others faces light up when she visits.

mid November

Emma has been volunteering in the bonsai garden as much as she can. She used a chopstick and tweezers to remove moss, weeds and snails from the top soil of the trees.


We caught maiki in a family selfie on our outing. It’s sweet how much taller Emma is in each photo.


We had an afternoon of perfect 70° weather for a play date. These days the girls love to climb trees.

Making lots of yummy things in the kitchen, like this pot of beans that slow cooked in the oven. I have baked a lot of bread, including my favorite olive bread with rosemary and a pumpkin pie with rich coconut milk.

early November

Emma joined the clean up in the bonsai garden a couple afernoons this week. She loves to sweep up the many fallen leaves with their rustic style brooms.

I bought this adorable pinnafore on Thred Up and I was so glad that the size ten fit so well. I love buying second hand whenever possible and this Crewcuts apron style dress really caught my eye.

We played a new game called Lost Woods and it was super fun.

Been listening to maiki read great night time books like Children of Noisy Village, the stories of Betsy and Tacy and Moomin Valley. During the day Emma reads Pippi Longstocking aloud.

We have made the most of the warm weather and are ready for cooler temps to come. Emma told me she prefers to walk around the lake once it cools off and I could not agree more. We like to get bundled and go bird watching around the lake, taking in all the trees and calming open space.