Bog Gardens

What conditions are necessary for a bog garden? Is it different from water gardening? Generally a swampy piece of ground, not under water, but where at all times there is plenty of moisture and usually too soft to walk upon. In water gardens the plants are immersed or floating. In bog gardens, the plants grow free above the soil.

What is the most practical way I can simulate bog-garden conditions in my home garden so I can grow sundews (Drosera sp.), pitcher-plant (Sarracenia purpurea), bog orchids, marsh-marigold, and other wetland plants? Pick a sunny area about 6 ft long and 3 – 4 ft wide, excavate about 2 ft deep, and line with heavy duty polyethylene. You can make a few perforations for drainage, but usually the plastic is severed soon enough by rodents, tree roots, and general wear and tear. Replace about a quarter of the soil, the remainder to be sphagnum peat moss. Mix the two together thoroughly, tramp solidly, and water thoroughly. Other methods for making bog gardens include the conversion of leaky fish pools by filling with a soil peat moss mixture; burying various discarded containers such as washtubs, bathtubs (and for a quite small bog garden, even a dishpan) to their rims.

Which plants grow in wet marshland? Swamp milkweed, marsh-marigold, Joe-Pye-weed, yellow Hag, blue flag, cardinal-flower, loosestrife, forget-me-not, sedges, marshmallow, water-plantain, Yellow – and White-fringed orchids, and many more.

Are tall-growing wildflowers, such as hibiscus, cardinal-flower, and lobelia, suitable for the wild garden? Yes. They are best grown in the bog garden or in a moist border.

Which wildflowers are suitable for planting near a naturalistic pool in sun and shade? Iris pseudacarus, Iris prismatica, Aruncus sylvestris, Vernania naveboracensis, Anemone canadensis, Asclepias incarnata, Calla palustris, Caltha palustris, Chelone glabra, Gentiana andrewsii, Hypoxis hirsuta, Lilium superbum, Parnassia glauca.

Which wildflowers do you suggest for the edge of a slow-moving, shaded stream? Cardinal-flower, boneset, turtlehead, great lobelia, hinged and bottle gentians, forget-me-not, monkey-flower, mertensia, blue flag (iris), marsh-marigold, American globeilower. A little distance from the stream, but where they profit by some of the moisture, you can grow yellow lady’s-slipper, trilliums, yellow adders-tongue, fringed polygala, Solomon’s-seal, false Solomon’s-seal, foamflower, Jack-in-the-pulpit, white violet, rue anemone (Anemonella thalictroides).