Format: The Garden Observed
Remember with gardening or yard maintenance, it’s easy to slip into the all work no play mode that drains the enjoyment of gardening over time. If your love of nature lead you to gardening, consider creating a space that welcomes butterflies and bugs, birds, and small creatures, squirrels, rabbits, even deer or fox or a fish pond. Whatever thrives in your neighborhood. There’s nothing more satisfying than developing a mini eco system where fellow creatures can find sustenance and feel safe. It should be free of pesticides and herbicides to protect animal life and areas that need protection should be fenced. Bird feeders are a must. Hang as many as you can afford to supply.
A great benefit of this type of garden is the relaxed, informal style that invariably evolves, lowering the stress of high maintenance lawns and crisp edges. This means there’s plenty of time for observation.
Find the perfect spot in sun or shade for a really comfortable chair. Create a kit to have with you: a pen or pencil, journal, I.D. books on birds, insects and small mammals in your area, binoculars and a camera.
First allow yourself to sip a drink, relax your head an neck, letting yourself drift until you feel that you’re absorbing where you are, not thinking at the speed of light about work, bills, family issues, etc. The more relaxed you become the more you’ll begin to observe. Journaling your observations along with whatever is on your mind is deeply satisfying and a wonderful reference tome not just for you, but for whomever might inherit your garden.
Great references for this type of journal keeping are the writer Ernest Thompson Seton, founder of the Woodcraft movement (inspired the creation of The Boy Scouts) and many books on wildlife, A Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard and if you’re more in the mood for the greatest memoir garden book ever, check out Green Thoughts by Eleanor Perenyi, a very original, funny and knowledgable writer.
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Santa Rosa, CA. • 95403
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