|Kip, a very tiny Eastern Cottontail|
|White-throated sparrow (photo taken in December)|
|Yellow-rumped warbler (photo taken in December)|
Recently I turned up a pair of lists of "garden pleasures" in my gardening notebook. This was an exercise in one of my favorite gardening books, Pleasures of the Cottage Garden by Rand Lee. It's called the Ruling Passions Exercise and is meant to help you plan out a new garden. I have also used it to help me focus when it seems there are just too many things I need to improve. There are multiple lists in this exercise, but I have my "answers" from only two of them -- I think I had too much fun with these two to ever move onto lists #3 and #4. The first list is potential uses of your garden and the second is Sensory Pleasures. The idea is to brainstorm a list of all that you want from a garden in these categories. The book goes on to describe how to work through your list to decide which is most important to you, to focus your gardening efforts on what will give you the most pleasure early on from your new garden. The garden "use" that means the most to me is attracting wildlife, and one of the sensory pleasures that ranked high on my list is "little birds approaching closely." I realized looking through this list that I have achieved a lot of what I hoped for in my garden. This is a really comforting and cheerful thing to think about when it's 104 degrees outside and everything looks a bit wilted and there are weeds I don't have the fortitude to go out and pull. Little birds aren't the only pleasure my garden has to offer me, either, even now when it is not at it's prime, visually. Visual beauty of course appears multiple times in multiple ways on my list -- and my garden has some of that too -- but this is not its most shining moment in that department. In the near future, I hope to post about a few more of my ruling passions and explore what my garden has to offer.