Building a Bog garden

If you have a pond in your garden, then a bog garden by it’s side adds another new and very useful dimension to the plants which you can grow.

A bog garden, once built, takes very little maintenance as most weeds will not grow well in the wet conditions. You do, however, need to be careful of the plants which you choose to grow as many are quite rampant and will take over the area very quickly, choking out other, more tender plants.

Building a bog garden is not difficult. It does not need a pond next to it as they do not share water, a pond as a neighbour just looks more natural and provides somewhere for any excess water.

Having decided on the size, shape and placing of your bog garden, the first thing to do is to dig a hole. This needs to be at least a foot deep. Then you line it with a plastic sheet. Make a few drainage holes in the plastic. You want the area to be very damp but not swampy. Then back fill it with soil. Any soil will do, although heavier soil such as the clay mixes are better. However I had a bog garden with rich loam in it and it worked well enough. If you are building your bog garden adjoining your pond, make sure the bog is higher than the water level to the pond. Again you want damp, not swamp.

The choice of plants for your bog garden is a very personal one. There are a great number of bog plants available, you will find the choice is greater in a shop which specialises in pond plants. Make sure that you are getting bog plants and not pond marginals. Pond marginal plants like their roots in shallow water whilst bog plants want their roots in wet soil.

Once you have built and planted your bog garden, there is very little else to do except sit back and enjoy. You may, from time to time want to cut back any plants which become to rampant and tidy any dead plant material. Also, if the weather is particularly dry, you may need to add water to keep the soil boggy. Then just enjoy, not just the plants but also the wild life which will also enjoy your bog garden.


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