Saturday, August 1, 2020

The Ruby Glow of July

"Loud is the summer's busy song
The smallest breeze can find a tongue,
While insects of each tiny size
Grow teasing with their melodies,
Till noon burns with its blistering breath
Around, and day lies still as death."
-  John Clare, July 

I love the sound of  running water in the garden.  I have three frolicking goldfish in my stock tank pond which is surrounded by banana palms and elephant years that provide much needed shade.

Even though July is suppose to be the rainiest month of the year in North Carolina it has seldom lived up to that label since I've been here.  Last July was one of the hottest and driest on record, but this month I was surprised and pleased that we had ample rainfall, despite 25 consecutive days of above 90.  I only had to water a few times and even then the hot temperatures dried it up.

I have planted several different varieties of azaleas and rhododendrons with no luck.   The intense heat is just too much for many of them even though I planted them in the right conditions.  Finally, I have a winner -I was so delighted to see new growth on my 'Formosa ' azalea.  

The 'formosa' azalea can reach heights of 6-10 feet but can be pruned to the desired size.  It's a very hardy specimen that can take the Southern heat.

Another thing that can't take the Southern heat is my Sweet Aussie Duke, my constant gardening companion who follows me about the garden and inspects every new addition.   This month he reached his 5th birthday but his chances of having another one are very slim due to his lymphoma diagnosis.  I am spending a lot of time making him happy and comfortable and it's very difficult to watch this spirited young one decline before my eyes.

Some good news -my eldest daughter and her hubby have relocated here and live only 6 miles away.  Like her mother, Cathy is an artist and amazing gardener.  The acorn doesn't fall far from the Oak.  Our family is now complete -there's 10 of us for Sunday dinners at my house.  I had to buy a second dining table.

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