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My Garden Notebook: July to September

Articles: My Garden Notebook: July to September

July
Years ago, when we first lived here, the farmer whose field is directly over my eastern fence kept a flock of sheep—one ram and many ewes and lambs. The ram’s presence was the only constant in the sheep population, the ewes being taken away occasionally to live in someone else’s field for a few months to keep the grass down, and the lambs being a commercial venture. They are all gone now, to my sorrow, and have been for years, the farmer finally wearying of freezing February nights in a cold barn, assisting ewes thorough difficult births or treating their colds and hoof rot. I miss them; the bleating of sheep is a sweet sound to awake to, rivaling birdsong.

I called the ram 813, because it was the number on the tag in his silky ear; I found out after meeting his owner that his name in the family was Rudy. Early on, I noticed him watching my activities in the garden with evident interest, so one day I offered him a piece of the zucchini plant I was pulling up; one taste, and we were friends. He ate anything offered him: fresh green weeds and old, tougher ones, including thistles, which he ate with care and thoughtfulness. The greatest enthusiasm, though, was for anything fr...

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Articles: Calochortophilia: A Californian’s Love Affair with a Genus by Katherine Renz

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