With the last stretch of nice weather, I was finally able to address the issue chronicled at the end of this post.
Digging out the area and storing the soil in wheelbarrows and tarps was the hardest part.
Meanwhile, I unrolled the wire mesh and weighted it down with rocks to help it uncurl. The plain old garden dirt was mixed with 1/4-10 gravel and dark hemlock mulch before returning it to the screened bed.
Several plants had been waiting in pots (one for years) for this day. Two Acorus gramineus variegatus from Home Depot were divided into enough plugs to cover a large area. The pot in the above photo contains Itea ilicifolia, a plant I have high hopes for. See it here on Plant Lust. I’ve killed it before, but maybe the care that went into preparing this bed will do the trick.
In the foreground is the lovely small tree that inspired the making of this bed. It has lived in a large pot for several years, and it was showing signs of longing for liberation. I thought it was ‘Red Bells’, but when I compare it to the excellent photos on Plant Lust, I think, instead, it is Enkianthus campanulatis var. sikokianthus. To its right is Hypericum inodorum ‘Albury Purple’. Impossible to see at this stage is Disporum hookerii. The sweet flag plugs take up the middle of the bed, where their root system is meant to protect the water lines beneath. In the distance, on the left, is a Pineapple Guava (Acca sellowiana). An Osmanthus too small to see is somewhere there in the middle distance, and on the right is the Itea. Where the new bed joins an existing bed a vigorous ground cover of Hypericum ‘Brigadoon’ will pretty rapidly migrate into the bare patches.
And one last shot, looking east. Take That! evil gophers! With this project taken care of, I guess it’s back to weeding for me.