Create A Bog Garden Habitat For Wildlife
A bog garden and a pond are natural partners as long as they are treated as different habitats.
A small garden pond with a variety of pond plants does make a big difference in a wildlife friendly garden. What can enhance this habitat and widen the diversity of wildlife and plants is creating a bog garden along side or relatively near the pond.
Nutrients are what mainly distinguishes these habitats along with the obvious matter of the difference in amount of water. With bog gardens the aim is to create a damp wet soil that feeds bog plants with more nutrients than what pond plants should be.
With the pond we need to avoid high levels of nutrients
so as to keep down blanket weed and green algae.
Oxygenators are vital to the ecology of a pond, but high nutrient levels will also cause these to dominate the pond.
Simply by keeping the two areas separate we avoid these problems, but the increased opportunity to plant wet or damp loving plants will have a dramatic effect on this area of the garden, aesthetically as well as with it's appeal to wildlife.
With this in mind it might be worth considering giving more area than originally planned for the bog garden.
Positioning The Bog Garden
The bog garden needs to be sited so that no excess water runs from it into the pond. The reverse of this is fine so if possible its good to have the pond slightly higher than the bog garden.
Installing a bog garden is much the same as with a pond except as with natural bog conditions the water needs to be able to seep slowly away, this means we will have to puncture whatever we are using to create the well for water to gather to create the wet damp conditions that bog plants love.
Soil of a depth of 20 - 30 cm, generally works well. Any deeper, depending where we live, and it may be a challenge to keep it wet enough and the bog plants suffer. Using a water butt that overflows into the bog garden will help to maintain the damp conditions that will help the bog plants chosen thrive.
Bog Plants Purchased As Plug Plants For A Bog Garden
This has got to be a simple but effective way of establishing a bog garden, an added bonus is that some of the plants can be used in a garden pond.
We may initially think that these are best suited for a wildflower garden but with a little thought and artistic license they can help establish and enhance most garden styles.
Bog plants for Wet or damp conditions include:
Devils Bit Scabious*, Fleabane*, Greater Tussock Sedge, Hemp Agrimony, Marsh Bedstraw, Marsh marigold*, Meadow Buttercup, Purple Loosestrife*, Ragged Robin, Sneezewort, Water Forget-Me-Not, Water Mint*. All the bog plants asterisked can also be used as a marginal pond plant.
Here are a few more plants that might be of interest for a bog garden: Bogbean, Greater Spearwort (invasive), Water Plantain, Tufted Loosestrife and Yellow Loosestrife.
This is by no means a definitive list and with some more research a fuller list of native wildlife garden bog plants can be achieved, but it's a healthy start.
Short List Of Wildlife Attracted By Bog Plants And Pond Plants:
Bee's, Wasps, Butterflies, Moths including the Elephant Hawk Moth, Flies, Dragonflies, Damselflies, Beetles and the Common Frog are attracted to or find beneficial at least one of this selection of plants, so if they are in the area they will most likely visit your bog garden habitat for wildlife.