The reason one would create a bog garden is usually because a bog exists. Somewhere in the deep dark recesses of our yard is one of those spots that becomes a quagmire every winter while sheltered from the sun by a few overhanging trees.
We’ve tried to get just about every living plant to grow there but it seems destined to be a spot that just remains hideous and treacherous to us and our visitors. Plus, it breeds mosquitoes, leeches odours that give a windy dog a licking and becomes impassable in the wetter months.
Sounds like a great place for a bog garden!
A bog garden is exactly what it sounds like – a garden planted within a bog. “But”, you begin to detest, “none of my plants have grown in this morass before, so why should they now?” I guess it all comes down to which plants you tried. Roses, for example, are not great bog garden plants. Neither are petunias, allyssum or any of your bulbs.
Instead, spend some time traversing through your local wetlands and you will notice that a myriad of plants not only exist, but thrive in these marshlands. Plants such as grasses, pitcher plants, milkweed and a myriad of others – which can be found here [link since removed] – would truly enjoy your bog garden.
While some gardeners try to recreate the bog garden effect it is done best when the bog already exists. This is primarily because you won’t need to access extra irrigation, shade or soggy quicksand. The raw ingredients are already at your disposal.
Making a bog garden
The first part of the process is identifying a location. For most gardeners who’ve struggled with a bog in their yard, this shouldn’t be too hard an exercise – you’ve probably slipped over in it more times than you care to count.
Your next step is creating safe access through, around or over the bog. It would be a waste to have planted out your bog garden but then be too treacherous for your guests to visit. Consider installing a bridge or some suspended walkway to help alleviate your access issues – here are a few garden path ideas that may help.
Now that the bog garden is accessible you can begin to plant it out with some of the varieties you identified earlier. While your bog may be the most moist in the winter months you may want to consider ways to keep it wet in the drier months as well, or plant accordingly.