How Bog Gardens Work

Bog Gardens: Things to Consider

Above is an example of a natural bog, located in Jura, France.
Above is an example of a natural bog, located in Jura, France.
Jean-Pierre Pieuchot/Getty Images

Here are just a few of the things you might want to consider before you undertake building a bog garden.

  • Cost -- The biggest cost factor will be the bog's size. Material and plant costs vary, so check with your local hardware store or gardening center to determine the cost of building your bog. Some general materials you'll need in order to get organized are a pond liner, perforated PVC piping, a growth medium and bog plants.
  • Time -- Ideally, plan for a month when building a bog garden. Digging the trench will be time consuming. Sources recommend filling it with soil and then flooding it, letting it settle for about a month to achieve a stable and ideal pH before installing plants. Of course, impatient gardeners can push up the timeline somewhat; however, if the aim is to create a specialized, true bog, it's especially important to wait about a month before planting [source: Burrell].
  • Climate and Weather: Technically, some form of a bog garden could be created and maintained in any climate. However, the constant watering that would be required would be extremely costly, time-consuming and ill-advised in an arid environment. Desert gardeners are advised to make due with a container bog.Weather is also a consideration. Drought is absolutely lethal to a bog garden, but flooding can be a concern, too. It's important to ensure adequate drainage by puncturing holes through the liner in the top 12 inches (30.5 centimenters) of the bog [source: Burrell].Also, true bogs are filled with peat, which can catch fire and burn. If your bog is a true, specialized bog then you should be mindful of when lightening strikes [source: Environmental Protection Agency].

Bogs are one of nature's wonders and they make a great addition to any garden. So grab a shovel, let loose a chorus of "The Rattlin' Bog Song" or another of the many bog-related Irish folk tunes, and dig in.

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More Great Links


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  • Environmental Protection Agency. "Bogs." Posted dated not published. (10.12.09)
  • Environmental Protection Agency. "Impacts on Quality of Inland Wetlands of the United States." Posted dated not published. (10.12.09)
  • Environmental Protection Agency. "Larvicides for Mosquito Control." 04/11/07. (10.12.09)
  • Fisher, Kathleen. "Complete Guide to Water Gardens." Creative Homeowner. 2000.
  • Perry, Frances. "The Water Garden." Van Nostrand Rheinhold. 1981.
  • Tyson, Peter. "America's Bog People." Posted date not published. (10.12.09)