So, taking advantage of the comfortable weather (72deg and overcast) I went out this morning and after a couple hours was able to remove the damaged plant, weeds and black paper burried under pebbles and mulch. The broken plant is going home with my daughter to be planted in her yard. If it survives she may have a very pretty bush. If not, there is no great loss.
The soil is a bit muddy and clumpy, so I'm going to give it a couple of days to dry out a bit before planting my new Easter present.