Making a Bog Garden- Facts and Information

Making a bog garden requires some facts and information to get you started. Once you have the basics down, you will be on your way to creating your own bog garden in your very own yard and garden. A bog garden is only one of many types of gardens and garden styles that you can incorporate into your landscape.

"Bog Garden"

Create a Bog Garden

If you happen to have an area in your garden that is permanently wet or waterlogged and you don’t know what to do with it, then turn your problem into an advantage and make a bog garden by adding plants for water and wet areas.

The first thing to find out is whether the soil remains wet all year round, or if it is only a problem in winter or after prolonged rainfall. To succeed as a bog garden, the site needs to be constantly wet- as plants that like this type of condition will not survive if the soil dries out.

On the other hand, soil that is so waterlogged that it becomes stagnant and starts to smell won’t support many plants, and the area will attract mosquitoes. If there is too much surface water, one option is to raise the soil level, allowing the plant roots to be in the we while the crown of the plant is above the water.

You could also put some stepping stones throughout the planted area to keep your footwear clean and at the same time let you see the plants growing in their own habitat. The area can be in the sun or shade. You will find bog plants that will grow in either condition.

*Tip- When creating a bog garden, add a layer of wet rotted manure or leaf mold in the base of the hole, on top of the liner, as this will help retain moisture. Do not use peat because if it is allowed to dry out, it is practically impossible to re-wet.

"Bog Garden in a Container"

Fake Bog Garden

What if I don’t have a wet place in my yard?

How to Fake a Bog Garden

1. Even if there is no suitable wet part in your garden, you can still have a bog area. Construct one by digging a hole about 12 or more inches deep and lining it with plastic sheeting. Be sure to pierce a few holes into the sides and base. Mix the excavated soil with an equal amount of moisture-retaining compost and then replace the soil.

The plastic retains the water and will keep the soil in the pit wet, but will still allow the water to drain out slowly through the holes to prevent the soil from becoming saturated. Do not try to make a bog garden on sandy and gravel types of soil. They do not retain moisture. Bog gardens are often constructed beside a garden pond and the overflow is directed into the bog garden helping to keep the soil constantly we. When it becomes necessary to feed the plants, usually in late spring, use a high potash feed and water it in. If your bog garden is close to the pond, don’t let fertilizer drift into the open water.

2. Create your bog garden in a container. This can be a whiskey barrel or any type of planter that will hold the water, plants, and soil intact. Use the same information above to create you own mini bog in your container.

Plants that do well in wet areas and bogs

  • Astilbe- a perennial which comes in many varieties.
  • Clethra alnifolia (sweet pepper bush) Shrub
  • Hosta- also comes in many varieties and is a perennial also.
  • Primula florindae (giant cowslip) a perennial also
  • Rheum palmatum ‘Atrosanguineum’ a perennial ornamental rhubarb.

* Candelabra primulas, astible, and irises all enjoy having their feet ina moist soil.

Find facts and information on other types of gardens and garden styles at

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