How to build a 'bog garden' around your pond

Create & plant damp areas 1   2  

Why build a 'bog garden' around your pond for wet or damp soil:

Build a 'bog garden' or 'stream edge' to the pond or moving water area:

  • Create an extended habitat for wildlife to keep them protected.
  • It will give a visual backdrop to your water area.
  • If this area maintains damp/wet conditions then it imitates the edge of natural water
  •  it replicates the emergence zone that amphibians use as they enter and leave the pond at various stages of their lifecycle.

Method of 'bog garden' construction:

You can create an area that can be kept either moist or permanently wet.

  • Dig out 2’ of soil in a straight sided shape and line the hole with cheap lining material like builders damp proof membrane.
  • Add 3” depth of gravel to the base for drainage and then puncture the membrane with a fork.
  • Check which plants you intend to plant in this area before you puncture the liner.
  • The number or size of the punctures you make in the liner will control how wet/damp the soil stays.
  • More holes will make it better drained and planting will be moist plants <p>Suitable for moist soil (damp but drained)</p>
  • Fewer holes will retain more water and require <p>Suitable for waterlogged soil (wet mud)</p> plants.
  • Refill the lined hole with top soil and humus rich compost
  • Cut the liner off at the top of the hole so the area can blend into the rest of the garden.
  • Fill with topsoil and humus rich garden compost if it is a moist area <p>Suitable for moist soil (damp but drained)</p>
  • Fill with aquatic compost or a clay/loam mix if it is a wet area <p>Suitable for waterlogged soil (wet mud)</p>. Do not use multi purpose compost for a wet 'bog garden' as this contains peat
  • Finish the edge of the prepared planting area to disguise the detail of the work you have done
  • Hide the edges of the liner with rocks or logs so it looks natural.
  • This 'bog garden' area appears to meet the water area next to it they are in fact both enclosed in their own separate linered sections.
  • The water from the pond or stream does not travel to the soil area but is kept within its own liner.

The historic method of allowing the water to overflow to water the 'bog garden' does not work well and should be avoided.

  • The pond is fullest in Winter when it rains but the 'bog area' is also wet from Winter rain and does not need to be flooded further at that time of year.
  • The 'bog garden' needs extra water in the summer when the plants are growing but this will not be available from the pond as this will be evaporating in the warmer weather and so not overflowing.
  • Keep the as wet as you need by watering from a porous or leaky hosepipe
  • Leaky hose is made from recycled car tyres that leaks along its length under low pressure.
  • It is better than a hosepipe with holes in it as they soon become clogged up with soil and get blocked.
  • Leaky pipe has a stopper at one end so that it will constantly drip when attached to a tap or water butt
  • Water build up forces the water through the holes in the pipe at root level as required
  • Leave on for as long as needed to suit the plants in the area
  • Better than using a hose and sprayer which sends water over plant leaves that may not reach plant roots
  • This 'bog garden' will provide protection for wildlife species in the emergence zone as they leave the pond and become vulnerable to predators
  • By encouraging frogs to the area they will protect the leaf of Hosta and Ligularia from being eaten by slugs.