All in all, my perennial bed worked out quite well in 2004, its first season, helped by more annuals than it will have in 2005 or future years. A grass path divides it into a rear inverted-U bed of 3’ width, and a straight front bed of 4½’ width. The U bed is 42’ wide. It also has a mown grass path behind it, below which is the slope down to the aqueduct.
It was of course quite a lot of work, de-sodding and double-digging the whole bed, then amending the soil with peat moss, leaf mold and composted cow manure, ratios varying depending on soil conditions, material availability and whim as I went along, with a dose of Hollytone 4-6-4 added where cow manure was not.
The bed runs East-West, sitting atop a slope several feet down to the similarly situated aqueduct. Much of it gets close to full sun from April through August, but a row of very tall white pines to the South, on the far side of the aqueduct, shade it in other seasons when the sun is lower. This may be a good thing, in that it prevents premature spring thawing and frost heaves.