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DIY Bog Garden | How To Build a Bog Garden

bog plantsIf you have water garden, or even if you don't, don't forget to create a bog garden.  What is a bog garden?  It's simply an area that remains moist most of the time.  They can be natural areas near the low sides of ponds or they can be created with a little of your own DIY help. 

 

Pick a spot with naturally poor drainage for your bog garden, even if it doesn't stay wet all year.  Mine is near a naturally low spot in my pond so that when it overflows from rain or when I refill it, the bog receives water from the overflow.   If it starts to dry out in the summer, provide extra water. Here you can grow any plants that thrive in damp soil.  If no wet area exists, create one. Dig out a spot 2 feet deep and line it with heavy plastic or a children's wading pool, pierced in a few places to allow slow drainage. Replace the soil, adding some peat moss.  

 

For a tiny bog garden, bury a small plastic container with one or two drainage holes added. Hide the container's edges carefully so that they don't give away your secret.  Choose plants that grow naturally around ponds or lakes. Choices include marsh marigolds, water irises, flowering rush, and even some carnivorous plants.  Planting ferns can add an exotic look to your bog too.  Exotic-looking ostrich ferns and royal ferns are among the feathery plants that adapt nicely to bog gardens.  Try primroses too.  Many types thrive in damp soil. After the flowers have gone to seed, flood the area so that all the seeds are moved about. When they germinate next season, your primroses will be massed with an unplanned, natural effect. 

 

Keep yourself dry. Install stepping stones or a wooden bridge so that you can enjoy your bog garden and tend the plants growing there without getting your feet wet. Mine is accessible from the back side so it's not an issue but make sure you plan maintenance needs.  Dramatic and tall plants can be beautiful in a bog garden.  If there's room, plant large, bold-leaved plants like the bog-loving 'Desdemona,' with towering stalks of orange-yellow flowers.  Some plants can be too vigorous for small bog gardens.  Avoid planting cattails and wetland grass unless you plan to thin them out every year, which I do, as they can crowd out other plants.  It's your choice as to what you want to plant, just make sure you take care of your bog garden the same as you would the rest of your water garden or pond.

 

 

 

 

Written by WM8C, July 30, 2006 - not for use without permission

 

bog plants 1 bog plants 2 bog plants 3
Bog at the back edge of my lower pond.  It's lined with plastic to retain moisture.

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