My astilbe roots arrived by mail, so I planted those. This is my first experience with this lovely flower, which I'd never heard of until this past winter. I'm going to have to stop opening any and all mail I get from Breck's; every time I look at their flowers and bulbs, I'm tempted to buy something else. And I've never really been that much on growing flowers!
While I was puttering in the flowerbed, I noticed one of the neighbors' horses was loose, and thought how glad I was that we put electric fence around our garden, because ever time he's gotten out he invariably walks over the garden; I do have a lot of things up and growing now. While that thought was still being formed, the horse came trotting briskly onto our property till he was between Cliff's shop and the electric fence, a space perhaps eight feet in width. I could see him gathering energy to bound across the garden, but just in time, he saw the wire. He knew what it was because we also have to put electric fence along the top of our barbed wire fence between us and the neighbors, or their horses tear the fence down trying to get some grass (because there's precious little on their side). It's up to us to do all this maintenance for their horses, because Lord knows, they aren't going to lift a finger. Anyhow, he saw the wire, jumped back almost against Cliff's shop, suddenly decided it was a trap, and turned and went running home at racehorse speed.
It made my day. Our efforts have been rewarded.
We never seem to be able to get enough straw at an affordable price. Seems like small square bales run $4 each these days. Cliff has watched an ad on Craigslist for some big straw bales for quite a while. The guy first asked $30 a bale; then $25, and finally $20. Cliff decided that sounded good. In case you've never see big bales like this, I took a quick video of the farmer loading them onto the trailer. We brought home five bales I'll be able to mulch my tomatoes this year! We'll use it for bedding in the horse stall, too.