Page 159 - 2017-greengate-Gardensense-magazine
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bog gardening
A bog garden can be a great addition to any garden! While most of us do not have a moist spot in our landscapes, building this type garden will allow you to grow moisture-loving plants.
Most of the plants suitable for bog gardens come from marshy, wet places. Traditionally when people grew this type of plant in their existing landscapes, it was required to keep them in the shade and water several times daily to keep them from wilting. By cultivating these same plants in a bog, it is now possible for them to be grown in the sun.
The ideal location for a bog is in conjunction with a pond as most bog plants live near water in their native environment. However, a stand alone section of your landscape will also work. Bog plants thrive with exposure to full sun but will survive in nearly any area. Once placement is determined, select the size and shape of bog that best suits your space. From personal experience I have found that bigger is better as it accommodates the size of these plants as they mature and holds more water for a longer period of time. Once the spot is selected, begin excavating 45cm (18”) to 75cm (30”) deep. Digging the hole is the hardest part of the project and once complete you will be left with a sizable pile of soil that can be used elsewhere in your yard. Following excavation, line the hole with a plastic sheet or pond liner at least 8mm thick. One continuous sheet is preferable as smaller overlapping sheets will not hold the water effectively. Cut drainage holes 2.5cm (1”) in diameter and 30cm (12”) apart around the liner 20cm (8”) from the top. The drainage holes allow the excess water at the surface to drain away from the plant’s crowns so they are not left rotting in the standing water.
Fill your bog with soil. The bottom layer should be of good quality topsoil 20cm (8”) deep followed by 20cm (8”) of well-rotted manure with a small amount of bone meal added. Mix slightly with the top soil below. Top the rest of the bog with peat moss making sure to put extra peat in as it will settle substantially when wet. Fill the bog with
water making sure that the all the soil is thoroughly saturated. Be patient. This may take some time depending on how dry the soils were at the beginning. Now the only thing left is the selection of plants to grow in your bog!
Readily available plants suitable for a bog
Eupatorium Angelica Sagittara Houttuynia Aruncus Equisetum Ligularia Lobelia Caltha Astrantha Filipendula Mimulus Rheum Rodgersia
Joe-Pye weed
Arrowhead Chameleon Plant Goat’s Beard Horsetail
Cardinal Flower Marsh Marigold Masterwort Meadowsweet Monkey Flower Ornamental Rhubarb
zone 3-8 zone 4-8 zone 3-8 zone 4-8 zone 2-8 zone 3-8 zone 2-8 zone 4-8 zone 2-8 zone 4-8 zone 3-8 Annual zone 3-8 zone 4-8

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