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Creating a Bog Garden

PrimulaCreate a Bog Garden

Photo from Thompson & Morgan

If you have a patch in your garden that has naturally poor drainage and remains wet you can set aside this area for plants that like wet conditions and create a bog garden.

If you haven't  got a naturally  wet area it's easy to produce one. Dig down about 30cm  over the area you want to make into the bog garden and line it with heavy duty plastic.  Poke a few holes into the membrane to allow for slow drainage.. Re-fill with garden soil mixed with water retentive organic matter such as fibrous garden compost  or peat. Water frequently because it will lose water through evaporation as well as the little drainage holes.

Small Bog Garden

You can even make a small bog garden by burying an old  plastic washing up bowl or a few large buckets and filling them with a soil compost mix as above, Bury the edges of the bowl or bucket below the soil level so they are not seen. Don't forget to drill a few holes through the base to allow some drainage.

Plant up your bog garden

You want moisture loving plants, of course, for your new bog garden. Your local garden centre should be able to advise you but  the following would be suitable:

  • Hostas
  • Bog Rush
  • Marsh Marigold
  • Water  Iris
  • Ostrich Feather Fern
  • Royal Fern

To add some winter colour to your bog garden you  could plant up some colourful shrubs. Choose ones that tolerate wet and boggy ground. Shrubby willows such as Salix alba var. vitellina would be a good one or  Cornus alba "Sibirica" with coral coloured winter stems.

The most popular flower for  your bog garden would be the primulas. The Japanese  primulas will self-sow  and you will have a variety of colours through the  summer.

To add  some structure to your bog garden plant a few taller plants such as Himalayan cowslip. Ligularia dentata Desdemona  (golden rays) is a great bog loving plant with towering stalks carrying orange red flowers and  reddish leaves as well.

Access to your bog garden

If you have a large area  getting into the garden without  sinking in and causing damage can be dificult. An easy and attractive answer is to put stepping stones into the garden.  Not only will they protect your garden  but your feet as well.

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