Season's Givings: Volunteers Take Their Green Thumbs to the Palos Verdes Peninsula

More than 100 volunteers help keep the 87-acre South Coast Botanic Garden green and free of weeds. The garden is on the Palos Verdes Peninsula.

[Sound of raking]

Kitty Felde: I'm Kitty Felde with Season's Givings. Robin Kirk is raking up leaves around a garden bed at the South Coast Botanic Garden on the Palos Verdes Peninsula.

Robin Kirk: I live nearby and I love to garden. I don't have enough dirt at home.

Felde: For the past five months, Kirk has been volunteering several hours a week at the Garden.

Kirk: I tend a number of these beds and that includes everything from weeding to planting to pruning. And my favorite aspect is design. So I have a woodland garden that I'm designing over here.
Felde: Well, show me.
Kirk: This is what I'm working on here. This is a shade-loving garden. Something that would remind you of hiking in a woodland meadow perhaps. At least, that's my goal.

Felde: Kirk is one of 150 volunteers that help out. Carol Howden, the assistant to the garden's director, says with 87 acres to tend, the volunteer gardeners make a big difference.

Carol Howden: Any skill level is welcome. You don't have to have any kind of horticultural background, you don't really have to have any kind of a knowledge of plants or gardening or anything like that, because it's on site learning as you do the job. And you just have to have a willingness and a desire to wanna get down and dirty, and I think then, from there, it's a piece of cake.

Felde: Volunteer Robin Kirk says it's important for Southern Californians to seek out green spaces, like the South Coast Botanic Garden.

Kirk: If you look around us, there's not a lot of earth that's exposed. There's so much concrete, and asphalt, and hardscape that this is an opportunity to know we still have earth here. So digging in it is just a pleasure. It's very healing. The solitude is wonderful. The opportunity to think. And then to see the faces of people that come through the garden, and to see the wonder in their eyes and the sense of peace that they are getting from this garden. It is so, so important.

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