As a preamble – When I was in highschool, I was part Jewish – by heritage – in a world that was almost completely WASP and at a time when Jews were still considered second class. (I went out with a girl and later found out that her father beat her because she had sullied the family name by going out with me.). Our family was desperately trying to be middle class – we liked to think upper middle class – trying to follow a set of arcane rules we didn't quite understand.
By the time I got to highschool, I wanted to be cool. I suspect this is pretty much a universal impulse, and – at the time and for years after – it was my major motivator. I pretty much pulled it off. I played football – not because I liked playing football – to be one one of the cool kids. I got in fights. I dressed like the cool kids, etc, etc. I didn't get very good grades.
I was a nerd: but I was a closet nerd.
In my mid-30's, I discovered the San Jose Cactus and Succulent Society – here were nerds who liked being nerds, who were willing to let their nerdieness enrich their lives – and it changed my life. End preamble.
Sunday was the UC Botanical Garden at Berkeley Fall Plant Sale. I hadn't been to a plant sale at a Botanical Garden in about 30 years and Michele had never been so we were a little unprepared for how great and tempting it would be.
It was a beautiful late summer day and plant people were out in force.
What makes plant sales fun – whether it is the Rhoddy Club, the Cactus and Succulent Society, or UC Botanical – is that the people involved are so into the plants they are hawking. Putting up for adoption is probably a better term.
At the cactus area – where I always go first – I got into a discussion on watering in which the seller? docent? salesperson? plant sitter? promoted watering some plants every six days and others – in the same greenhouse – every seven days. And he did this with a straight face. Now I am a little nutty on watering myself – being willing to hand water, with water that has a tablespoon of vinegar added to five gallons of the tap water, to bring the acidity up – but this seemed extreme.
Michele got hijacked at the shade plant table where the seller exposed her to the joys of a Podophyllum hybred – Asian Mayapple to us less informed – seen here on the left of the table.
Everywhere there were interesting plants.
And interesting people buying them. It was fun and going to an event like this and seeing young, hip, kids buying plants is very exciting.