May 24, 2016:
In the northeast bed. The difference between this one and the scrawny ones below it is that this one gets a lot more sun.
This may be too much shade even for a "shade plant" because they have done little or no flowering over the years,
I plan to move them to an area in the side lot which is still shady (as is most of our property) but does get some sun.
The picture below is after 6 years of growth.
The Astilbe bed has been dug up by an armadillo a couple of times, despite a generous application of anti-critter stuff.
Strips of 1"x1" chicken wire were cut to lay between the plants, notching the wire to fit around the plants.
After laying out the pieces, wire was used to attach the pieces to each other. In other places, I have used
one large piece of chicken wire instead of multiple small pieces. The advantage of the smaller pieces is that
they would be easier to remove if the area needs to be replanted.
A layer of compost was used to cover the chicken wire and it was watered in to get it to settle.
We saw signs of digging in the compost after doing this but the chicken wire was not penetrated nor were the plants damaged.