This was a difficult and sad month for me. On the first day of July we lost my miniature horse Charm. It was very sudden following a severe bout of colic. I am devastated. We had 'rescued' Charm from a farm where he had been abandoned by his owner (he was boarded there and never picked up.) The vet estimated his age to be about three years at that time. He was with us for less than two years, but of course I had grown to love him. My grandson was very comforting, reminding me of all that we had done for Charm: taking care of his teeth and hooves, giving him the medical attention he had never had, and building him a beautiful shelter in the paddock. He said we gave him great companions in the goats: Doodles, the young Nigerian pigmy, and Billy, the ancient one. My daughter reminded me that Charm is immortalized in the article featuring my gardens in the Summer 2020 edition of Country Gardens Magazine. She said, 'That's a big deal.' I feel that our farm animals are very much a part of my gardening story. When I'm in the garden they wait patiently by the fence for a tasty weed or two. The desk where I write my gardening blog and my articles is in a window overlooking the paddock. The animals are always near to me. I miss Charm enormously; I dedicate this posting to him.
|Miniature horse, Charm, and goats, Doodles and Billy. I love the picture of Charm in the center at the bottom -- he was wearing his winter coat and looked like Rod Stewart.|
|Duane taking Charm from the pasture to the stable at the end of the day.|
|Charm and me strolling through the Woodland Walk.|
Of course, when I'm sad my garden is my solace. Consequently, although the July weather was hotter and steamier than ever, I spent as much time as possible outside -- at least in the early mornings. We had three heatwaves this month. Every day was above average temperatures, sometimes reaching heat indexes in the triple digits. It's been very dry, so we are constantly watering plants. Three of our five rain barrels are empty. The cottage garden peaked in the middle of the month and was stunning. Today it's beauty is starting to wane. Here are a few pictures taken yesterday:
|There were lots of water lily blooms this year. |
The arrowhead plant, Sagittaria latifolia, displayed its white flowers all summer.
I don't often show pictures of The Stone Garden. It is a cool escape in hot weather. I grow shade plants in tubs there.
|One of grandson Jon's miniature gardens; he created it in a broken fountain. |
Looking lovely with miniature hostas in bloom.
The hot weather has not deterred the butterflies. As well as an enormous number of large American swallowtails, smaller monarchs, and many fritillaries, there have been numerous tiny species.
|Two tiny butterflies and a hummingbird moth.|
I am linking with Sarah's 'Through the Garden Gate' meme where you can check out her July gardens in Dorset, England. Thank you, Sarah.
Wishing you a lovely August in your garden!
(Some pictures of Charm and the goats were taken by Samantha Thorpe of Meredith Corporation during the photo shoot for the Country Gardens Magazine feature.)
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