Bog gardens

I'm thinking of creating a bog garden this year but haven't been able to find much info on how to do it. Basically, I'm thinking of digging a shallow depression about 10 ft in diameter and 10 to 12 inches deep and refilling with about 6 inches of topsoil. I have a natural slope to my yard so keeping it wet shouldn't be a major problem for me. I would like to create as much a natural environment as possible with cattail, bulrushes, horsetails and any other bog type plant I can find. I have about 4 to 6 inches of topsoil over a thick bed of clay. I live in the extreme north of zone 4 so winters are long and brutal while the summers can be hot as hell. I want this to be a low maintenance area and I'm not interested in attracting any wildlife although, if it works, I imagine frogs and garter snakes may show up.
Does anyone have any experience or info to share with me?
thanks frank
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If you don't get any wildlife you might as well make a little wooden sign saying "MOTEL - mosquitoes stay free"
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wrote:

I would be wary of the cattails and horsetail, both can be very invasive. If I were doing it I would include iris, but not pseudoacorous, it gets out of hand as well.
If you fill it enough to have standing water all the time I would add some mosquito fish, Gambusia affinis.
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Charles wrote:

Amen on all points.

I know some pond folks who have tried native minnows in ditches along with a small number of aquarium fish. Green fan-tailed molly with minnows makes an interesting breed. So does shads and shiners. The price certainly is right. Did you know there is only one place in the U that raises Gambusia? In the Midwest, somewhere.

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On Mon, 19 Jan 2004 17:11:44 -0600, FrankS wrote:

I would recommend finding a good book on bog gardening. For some reason, straight topsoil doesn't seem too bog-like. You may wish to incorporate some peat. Peat comes from bogs.
I would stay away from horsetail (equisetum) since it is very invasive and may take over the entire area. A 10' diameter "bog" is not that much space.
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C wrote:

It's not that bad.
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It's not that bad.
In my & everyone else I knows experience horsetails are EXTREMELY INVANSIVE and almost impossible to erradicate once present. Weedkiller resistent & tiny fragments will grow. Use of peat is very dubious on environmental grounds; should you be destroyinging a natural bog to create an artificial one? You can very successfully use composted bark for example.
The are good books on bog gardening. Try Amazon, bibliofind or abebooks.
Harvey
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A 10' bog is not that bad. Horsetail it taboo.
Harvey wrote:

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The Montreal Botanical Garden has an excellent bog section. You might want to contact the Garden. The English version of its Web site is <http://www2.ville.montreal.qc.ca/jardin/en/menu.htm .
I have two photographs of the bog section at <http://www.rossde.com/Canada_trip/photos_MtReal_garden1.html .
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I've built 2 and volunteered on a third. I have some .pdf's I can send you and a 6 page "how to" via fax.
http://www.dnr.state.md.us/wildlife/bogs.html http://www.plantideas.com/bog/index.html http://www.pitcherplant.com/bog_making.html http://www.nelsonwatergardens.com/iwant.html#28 - my local source among many others like Harris County Flood Control
J. Kolenovsky http://www.celestialhabitats.com - got pics on the one I built in my yard here and at http://www.hal-pc.org/~garden
FrankS wrote:

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wrote:

I have a pond, about 7,000 gallons or so. It took me 3 weeks to dig it out. Frogs were watching me dig it out and immediately took it over. The pond is fed by an underground natural spring. I installed a standpipe that takes the overflow to a nearby stream. Later, I surrounded the pond with flagstone. The water was muddy for about a month, then cleared up. I planted a few aquatic plants. The elodea, parrot feather, cattail, miniature horsetail, and lilies grew quickly. Currently I have azola invasive problems and use it to feed the compost. One year I had to evict a muskrat. Water snakes and herons can be a problem at times for the larger fish. There's a pond newsgroup you should check out. I'm in zone 7 with very little pond freezing.
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Wow, that's a nice pond! Yeah, rec.ponds. I forgot about them. Thanks.
Phisherman wrote:

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I was thinking of doing the same thing this year, but my bog is reserved for lotus. I have successfully germinated ten seeds of 'Baby Doll' and I have many of them outside in the pond waiting to be divided up. I think they will do much better directly in soil in a bog. There will be standing water in mine, so I will make sure mosquito dunks will always be present.
I do have a pond now which has to be made larger. The one inch comets are now about 12 inches long and beefy! I am going to build them a larger pond than they have now. Around that pond I will plant nothing but horsetail in the soil, but that's only because it will be raised and in no way in touch with any other part of my gardens. I also have miniature cat tails and star grass, which smells divine. Sagittaria is also beautiful.

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Well, none very relevant to "brutal winters", but my attempt is an example of making a virtue of necessity, planting for local conditions, and as low maintenance as possible.
I started a bog garden last year in the wettest part of the garden, a curve-edged space about 15 yards by 10, lying between the boundary and the driveway. It's on a slight slope below a hillside,and seems to be above a natural spring; so surface water soaks through it all year round. We have high rainfall (70" per year) and a mild maritime climate, no hot dry summers, windy and salty in winter but no prolonged hard freezes. The soil is fertile and acid. The wettest end is in sun all day (when we have any) and the drier top end is shaded after noon by next-door's rhododendron bank. It can catch the wind so I've chosen a lot of plants with narrow leaves.
The bog-garden was previously a drowning swampy lawn (feet could sink into it even in summer) in which the previous owner had built two miserable raised island beds like graves. Unaccountably she filled her "dry" islands with neat peat, so the miniature conifers she stuck in were still wet, starving and miserable. I moved the conifers and broke down the stone walls. At the bottom end of the bog I dug out all the soil, put in a membrane flood-barrier to stop water draining out, and put the soil back mixed with the peat, so it's even wetter than before. The lawn was covered in cardboard sheets, grasscuttings, seaweed and rotted horse manure, excluding all light. Under the damp wetness, many worms moved in to feed and the turf first died, then disappeared within a couple of months. The surface will be mulched annually with similar materials,to feed the soil and keep weeds to a minimum.
At the soggiest, wettest end I've planted variegated bulrush (supposed to be less invasive than the green one),lysichiton, rodgersia, lobelia (cardinalis?) and patches of wild yellow iris and primula florindae. Further back towards the boundary, are gunnera manicata. In the next bit, slightly less saturated, is a big swathe of pampas grasses. Pampas may seem a funny choice for a bog but I've noticed they really enjoy waterlogged soil down at sealevel here; I want them to make a BIG screen between us and our nice neighbours (without hurting feelings) and be a foliage contrast against the gunneras while sheltering them from wind. Then comes a patch of purple drumstick primulas in front of a spiky-leaf patch of daylilies, iris and montbretia, all of which like wet ditches; and a purple phormium, which grows to giant proportions with its feet in a pond near here. Beside that is a baby Royal fern. At the top end the soil is merely damp(rain never stands on the surface) and has mahonia Charity, red tree peony, and a couple of pieris which were already there and a stewartia pseudocamellia.
Janet (Isle of Arran, West Scotland)
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We had a bog garden that was triangular and about 60' on a side. It had two natural springs at the top which flowed down through the garden and then into an old stone walled swimming pool full of water lillies.
We planted blue berries, deciduous azaleas (Gibraltar and Klondike), red-twig dogwood, green-twig dogwood, primroses, swamp iris, and ferns. They all flourished. In addition birds planted elder berry and bittersweet which did well also.
The swamp was getting too wet and running across the lawn onto the neighbors property. We put in a new drainage system that diverts all the water underground into the lilly pond. We filled in the deep end of the pool so that it varies from 3' to 4' deep and will put the water lillies back in when we refill it.
I am looking for ideas on how to manage the string algae in the lilly pond. The lilly pond is 15' x 45' by 3.5' or about 19,000 gallons. I know that shade and reducing nutrients reduces the green water algae but that this won't eliminate the string algae. Now, with just the spring water running out of the plastic drain pipes we are getting string algae growing in the end of the pipe where the water is running out. The nutrient level in this water must be rather high. It is acidic also.
Any suggestions are welcome
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I am so freaking envious/jealous...... DKat....
I think I may have gotten a little over the edge with cabin fever... have I mentioned that Long Island is NOT supposed to get this cold and STAY this cold!

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Sink a bale of barley hay into the pond. I also found that Elodea (Anacharis) competes with algae, but the Elodea can be invasive.
On Tue, 20 Jan 2004 23:58:10 GMT, "Stephen M. Henning"

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lilly
gallons. I

algae but

spring
string algae

The
also.
Gardener's Supply Company offers a barley straw gizmo that it claims will keep a pond algae free. It's on page 28 of their spring 2004 catalog.
I'd never heard of this "cure" but may give it a try in my tiny goldfish pondlet.
However, the algae will go away anyway as spring draws to a close.
Jim Lewis - snipped-for-privacy@nettally.com - Tallahassee, FL - Nature encourages no looseness, pardons no errors. Ralph Waldo Emerson
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barely straw is said to work. however. in cold weather the biobugs which do the converting shut down. string and sweater algae does not. you got fish? I see some string algae in my veggie filter when I start it up in spring. then the plants get big and the string algae is starved. do you have a pump in that lily pond? Ingrid

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ List Manager: Puregold Goldfish List http://puregold.aquaria.net / www.drsolo.com Solve the problem, dont waste energy finding who's to blame ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Unfortunately, I receive no money, gifts, discounts or other compensation for all the damn work I do, nor for any of the endorsements or recommendations I make.
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snipped-for-privacy@wi.rr.xx.com wrote:

The only fish are the ones that are brought in naturally by the birds. The same is true of frogs, etc. It has no pump. It is fed naturally by springs. When I refill it, my plan is to put in underwater plants to use up the nutrients and oxygenate the water and water lilies to provide shade and flowers. I understand that algae eater fish are a mixed blessing, they increase the nutrients in the water which causes algae. I will try to get by without algae eaters and see if I need them.
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