Bogs, being very similar in form and function to swamps, may not incite desire to have one in your back yard. However, bog gardens can offer a splash of uniqueness and interest to your home garden. With the popularity of water gardens and backyard ponds, bog gardens are also becoming more popular. They offer a wide selection of plants and attract interesting wildlife to your yard.
Build a Bog Garden – Container vs. In Ground
There are two ways of building a backyard bog garden: in a container, and in the ground. Both methods work basically the same way. Your choice depends on space available and your personal tastes. While container gardens are usually smaller and easier to break down if necessary, in ground bog gardens are more realistic and can be blended into existing landscaping more easily.
Build a Bog Garden – Building the Bog Garden
A bog is characterized by very wet, organically rich soil, possible standing water, and lots of plants. Unless you have a naturally occuring bog in your yard, you will have to construct the base of a bog garden first.
The first step is to dig down at least eighteen inches in the shape and size of the finished bog garden. Purchase a water garden liner and lay it in the hole. This can be held down with some rocks. Next, poke some holes in the liner with a garden fork, a spike, or a knife. Since you want water to stay in the bog garden, do not poke too many holes.
Next, fill the entire bog garden liner with a rich mixture of soil and peat moss. This mixture should be high in organic matter. Cover the liner completely. Then, simply cover the edges of the liner with rocks, soil, timbers, or any other edging you desire.
The next step is to plant water-loving plants in the bog garden. These include flag iris, cattails and other reeds, spiderwort, monkey flower, and ranunculus. Plant them according to the directions from the nursery or on the plant tag that comes with them.
The final step is to water the bog garden thoroughly. Using your garden hose, spray water across the bog until there is standing water at the top.
Build a Bog Garden – Bog Garden Cautions
The biggest problem with having a bog garden is the possibility of mosquitos laying their eggs in the water. If you have a lot of plant cover, this problem is reduced. However, you should check frequently for this problem. Either reduce the watering schedule so there is no standing water and just soggy earth, or disturb the surface of the earth frequently. Bog gardens can be beautiful accents in a yard if cared for properly.