Changing from pond to bog garden?

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by bazza456, Nov 28, 2011.

  1. bazza456

    bazza456

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2011
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Suffolk
    Hi All,
    This is my first post and one some of you will probably find a bit odd!
    About 15 years ago when I purchased my current property there was already a liner pond complete with fish, plants and filtration system. Everthing continued fine until last winter when I lost most of the fish because I unfortunatley did not remember to break the ice. By the way, the pond is approx 10 ft x 5ft but is only about 20 inches at its deepest point. As I am not a pond fanatic I have not rushed to re-stock and, in fact, am keen to remove the liner and turn the area into a sort of bog garden. I would be very interested to hear your views, good or bad, on this idea.
    Many thanks in anticipation.

    Bazza
     
    bazza456, Nov 28, 2011
    #1
    1. Advertisements

  2. bazza456

    Waterbug

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2010
    Messages:
    3,195
    Likes Received:
    1,260
    Location:
    Phoenix AZ
    Works great. Here's a link to one I did
    [​IMG]
    You still need the liner unless you have unlimited water like a stream to pump into the bog. Just fill with pea gravel. Any rock, or even soil will work, but pea gravel is much easier to shovel.

    I kept plants in pots buried in the gravel just to make it easier to remove, divide. Without containment some plants like to take over.

    Many kinds of plants do well in this setup...many more than just "pond plants". You can grow tomatoes and several trees. My fav tree was the Marsh Mallow, flowers non stop excluding freezes. And even most pond plants do better in a bog.

    Of all gardening these are my fav garden beds. Even here in Phoenix I've been using small versions of these in my desert landscape so I can grow Cana, sedges, and tomatoes...so far.

    You need no filters or pumps. But a liner is pretty important.
     
    Waterbug, Nov 28, 2011
    #2
    1. Advertisements

  3. bazza456

    fishin4cars True friends just call me Larkin Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2011
    Messages:
    5,195
    Likes Received:
    1,581
    Location:
    Hammond LA USA
    Welcome aboard! I'm sure Ms, Addy will join in as well. She has a great post of Bog garden and bog filtration, Beautiful pond as well. They aren't hard to make and most of your primary expense should be already in place for a nice bog. With a little work this spring you can probably come up with a great natural semi aquatic habitat that will surely brighten up the spot in the yard!
     
    fishin4cars, Nov 28, 2011
    #3
  4. bazza456

    j.w I Love my Goldies

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2010
    Messages:
    23,863
    Likes Received:
    13,494
    Location:
    Arlington, Washington
    [​IMG] Bazza
     
    j.w, Nov 28, 2011
    #4
  5. bazza456

    CountryEscape

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2011
    Messages:
    7,144
    Likes Received:
    4,576
    Location:
    near Effingham, Illinois
    Welcome Bazza! Sounds like you have info here for starting a beautiful bog garden. Waterbug's pic is beautiful! I put in a small bog on the edge of my pond, and now want to expand it ... again! Love the plants that work in there.

    Oh, and had to say that I've learned that ponds CAN freeze, they just need to be thawed out a couple of times a week in just a small area to let the gases release from fish populations underneath. However, NEVER never hit to break the ice, as I've been told that kills the fish instantly. :) Just a tidbit of info, although you don't need to know that now, since you're converting to bog.

    The info about the tomato plant growing well in your Phoenix bog, Waterbug, is something I'll pass on to my sister, who lives in Phoenix and has a koi pond. No bog, but I bet she would love to add one. :) They tried growing tomato plants but not much luck. Maybe a bog idea would get her going.
     
    CountryEscape, Nov 29, 2011
    #5
    fishin4cars likes this.
  6. bazza456

    addy1 water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2010
    Messages:
    32,301
    Likes Received:
    16,565
    Location:
    Frederick, Maryland
    Welcome Bazza
    [​IMG]

    To make a really neat bog, all you need to do is remove any pond stuff you don't want to bury.
    Leave the liner in place. I think Suffolk is a moist area, i.e. you get rain.

    Take a pitchfork, make some holes in the liner, enough so it will drain real slow. Just not stay full of water if you have rain all of the time. True bogs like to be wet, drain, dry, be wet again. You never let the bog totally dry out i.e. rock hard. If you don't have rain water it a little.

    So the one thing you need to figure out is how many holes to put in your liner................... my one bog I have the liner dipped in one place, by an inch to help it drain, if we have tremendous rain, no holes. But it is full hot sun, it did not need help drying out. Maybe leave some water in it, put some holes see how quick it drains, if it takes days and days add a few more, not that critical as the dirt will stay moist with the liner being in place, you just want the water to drain slow.
    My other plant bog is a 1000 gallon stock tank, it gets wet and stays wet. I did put in a 5 gallon bucket buried to drain with a sump pump if it stayed too wet. But I have never touched it and the carnivorous plants are doing great even though quite wet.

    As far the kind of dirt, go with the kind of plants you want. Pea gravel works great for a bog pond filter, for just a bog I would use soil. My plant bogs are peat moss, (for carnivorous plants) that makes it an acidic bog. Our well and rain water are acidic so it works great for those plants. For my pond bog, it is pea gravel, more of a basic ph. I grow all sorts of things in that bog, it does stay wet all of the time as it is my pond bog filter.

    Or do like waterbug and put in pea gravel, put your plants into the gravel in pots. Then you can just pull and change out when you want to .
    Mine are just planted in the bog, letting them fill in and grow naturally.

    Some plants like a dry crown, wet roots, others can handle wet all the time. Using dirt for your bog, the plants will have more nutrients than using just pea gravel. My pond pea gravel bog filter get nutrients from the fish waste.

    Any other questions fire away.
     
    addy1, Nov 29, 2011
    #6
  7. bazza456

    Becky Administrator

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2011
    Messages:
    2,134
    Likes Received:
    1,298
    Location:
    Manchester, UK
    Welcome to the forums Bazza! :)
     
    Becky, Nov 29, 2011
    #7
  8. bazza456

    fishin4cars True friends just call me Larkin Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2011
    Messages:
    5,195
    Likes Received:
    1,581
    Location:
    Hammond LA USA
    Good catch there CE, Your correct, NEVER break the ice by hitting it, This puts severe shock waves down the fishes lateral line causing them to bolt and injure themselves and can be enough to kill them instantly. Always melt a hole in the ice or never allow it to freeze in the first place. I love seeing a new ponders passing on learned information, Good job, BTW, Houdini is doing great!
     
    fishin4cars, Nov 29, 2011
    #8
    blessedfamily and CountryEscape like this.
  9. bazza456

    taherrmann4 Tmann

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2011
    Messages:
    3,142
    Likes Received:
    675
    Location:
    Louisville KY
    Welcome to the forum....
     
    taherrmann4, Nov 30, 2011
    #9
  10. bazza456

    CountryEscape

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2011
    Messages:
    7,144
    Likes Received:
    4,576
    Location:
    near Effingham, Illinois
    Thanks for the compliment, Larkin, and most especially for the description as to WHY it's bad for the fish to try to break the ice. I never knew the "why", only that it was dangerous! You explained it very well.
    And, good to hear little Houdini is doing well! :LOL: :LOL: :LOL:
     
    CountryEscape, Nov 30, 2011
    #10
  11. bazza456

    fishin4cars True friends just call me Larkin Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2011
    Messages:
    5,195
    Likes Received:
    1,581
    Location:
    Hammond LA USA
    Here is something that was explained to me, might make things a little more clear about breaking ice on a pond, If you ever walk up to a fish tank slightly tap on the aquarium with your finger nail, you'll see all the fish jerk slightly, wait two or three minutes then tap about twice as hard, you'll notice the fish bolt quickly, now multiply that by 100, yes that's the force needed to break the ice even when fairly thin, it's almost equal to hitting the glass of an aquarium with a hard metal object. A fishes lateral line is actually it's ears but far more sensative. If you slapped your ears as hard as you can it would equal about the same response in a human as the harder of the two taps on the glass in the experiment above. The cracking of the ice would be about equal to a stick of dynamite going off within a ten foot radius of our ears. If the concussion didn't kill us the slamming into an object running from it would seriously hurt us and possibly cause deafness permanently.
     
    fishin4cars, Nov 30, 2011
    #11
    HARO, j.w and CountryEscape like this.
  12. bazza456

    bazza456

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2011
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Suffolk
    Many thanks for your warm welcome and all the very helpful comments and suggestions- they are very much appreciated.
    I am however having a bit of a battle with the trouble & strife who is keen to remove the old liner completely rather than just spear it with a fork. Her argument is based around the fact that where we live in Eastern England the subsoil is clay and having been compressed under the liner for many years she is confident that although it will not be entirely watertight it shoujld maintain a good level of moisture for a bog garden. Potentially we could also divert some water from a neaby downpipe when its raining. What do you think?
    By the way, when I joined this forum I didn't realise it was a US based one - I assume there are other UK based members?!

    KInd regards,

    Bazza
     
    bazza456, Dec 1, 2011
    #12
  13. bazza456

    addy1 water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2010
    Messages:
    32,301
    Likes Received:
    16,565
    Location:
    Frederick, Maryland
    laughing! just tell her why remove it?................if you are not making another pond. Leave the liner so you don't need to dispose of it and you will have a nice defined area for your bog, It will keep the bog wetter. Even if it has been compressed it may leak too fast...........maybe.

    Yes there are uk members, the admin is from over there too.
     
    addy1, Dec 1, 2011
    #13
  14. bazza456

    CountryEscape

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2011
    Messages:
    7,144
    Likes Received:
    4,576
    Location:
    near Effingham, Illinois
    Stay with us! There are lots of members from the UK on here, and we all enjoy their posts and any differences in climates, soils, etc. If anything, it gives all of us a broader perspective of ponding, and that is always a good thing. :razz:
     
    CountryEscape, Dec 1, 2011
    #14
  15. bazza456

    adavisus

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2011
    Messages:
    1,253
    Likes Received:
    754
    Location:
    carolinas
    Bog beds can work quite well, if you know what to expect

    :)

    Otherwise, you can run into two main bugaboos that will spoil it... and a third one that might creep up on you

    ~Bog beds are difficult to weed, they tend to explode with all sorts of the worst windblown or grass weeds from seed...

    ~ Bog beds lose water at a very fast rate, it can be tricky to provide stable moist conditions through dry Summer conditions

    ~The third bugaboo that tends to sneak in, badly drained saturated soil tends to go 'off' and acidic inches down, plant roots spoil, bog beds do need a gentle trickle flowing through them to stop poor soil conditions accumulating

    There is one 'obvious' way to do a bog bed, and that is to use a liner with a hole or two most of the way down to stop the soil in the liner from being saturated, it 'lets' excess water out. Downside, water evaporation rates very high. In a sunny position it will struggle with drying out... The perty leafy canopy can suddenly droop and more delicate bog plants fizzle out un noticed.

    The less obvious way to do a bog bed is to make a pond as per usual, and plant the bog plants in containers with the soil level a few inches above the water level. this works well, as it becomes easy to keep weeded, and water loss from evaporation is much lower... Soil has a much bigger surface area than water, so, the 'soil' surface tends to lose water twenty? fifty? times faster than water....

    Be a little wary of what plants you use in a bog. A lot of very attractive plants are missold to zones too hot for them.... Gunnera, Marsh Marigold, Mare's tail come to mind as very elegant in the water garden books and garden centre shelves, to die like flies when 90°f heat whups them (hot Summers in America)

    A couple of things you may want to put high on the priority list

    Don't plant anything in a bog bed that is a pain on the invasive aspect... You may find all your favourite plants struggle with seeds or creeping rhisomes impossible to weed

    Cattails, reeds, sedges and grasses can go berserk, alisma seedlings, couch grass etc. can become something of a bane in damp ground

    Plants to look at, rather likely to thrive over in England...

    Alchemilla Conjuncta (Ladies mantle)
    Allium Ursinam (Ramson's)
    Aruncus Dioicus (Goat's beard) 3-6'
    Astilbes
    Bergenia
    Canna
    Caltha Palustris (Marsh MArigold)
    Cimifuga (Bugbane)
    Ferns (Harts Tongue is rather attractive)
    Filipendula Ulmaria (Meadowsweet)
    Geum Rivalle (Water Avens)
    Gunnera Manicata 6'-12'
    Hostas
    Hymenocallis
    Iris Kaempferi. Sibirica
    Lobelia (Various)
    Ligularia Clivorum Desdemona
    Louisiana Iris
    Lychnis Flos-cuculi (Ragged Robin)
    Lysichitum Camschatcense (Skunk Cabbage)
    Lysimachia nummularia (Creeping Jenny)
    Miscanthus
    Osmunda Regalis (Royal Fern)
    Osmunda Cinnamomea (Cinnamon Fern)
    Ligularia
    Peltiphylum Peltatum (Umbrella plant) 3-5'
    Primula
    Rheum
    Rodgersia
    Schizostylis Coccinea (Kaffir Lily)
    Troillus Europaeus (Globe flower)
    Zantedeschia (Arum Lily)

    Put a dozen of these names into a search engine and you will soon find some stunning nursery sources to ogle the descriptions and photos... You might well winkle out some amazing plant collections at very reasonable prices can plonk a good plant in a box and pop it in the mail over Devon and Cornwall way

    Though, if time and means are convenient, day tripping through some places like Sheffield Park Gardens, Bennetts waterlily farm, Stapeley water gardens makes for quite the day trip (a week would be better)

    Aspect is a factor for a bog garden, shade from midday sun is useful as that will help to create a lush foliage, bog beds are quite prone to drying out if located in sunny positions, you could make yourself a tedious chore when bog beds dry fast as a result of their increased surface area for evaporation

    Most bog plants are not fussy about soil types, they can be fussy if the bog bed tends to become acidic, if inadequately drained soil conditions can go sour with too much organic stuff going off in aneirobic conditions... A slight flow through where heavy rain can trickle through a couple of well located punctures party way down the liner should do the job, it's fairly easy to probe an extra hole in the liner if water tends to pool too much, just the slightest flow of surplus water through the bog bed is adequate

    When infilling a pond, it can be a convenient way to dispose of every Autumn leaf, laying a thick bed of leaves with a thin skim of good fertile soil to form a natural deep bed of fertile loam that bog plants relish. A liquid mulch feed and generous toppings of mulch now and then should keep the fertility levels as perky as the plants need

    As for soil type a mix of loam, sand, autumn leaves well turned should have a reasonable balance of being moisture retaining, yet draining reasonable... a bog bed on a decent scale is a quite useful place to dispose of your Autumn leaves and surplus floaters

    Depth is a factor for beg beds, too shallow and they will be prone to drying out too fast, one to two feet deep might be a reasonable compromise, setting up a trickle pipe (holey hose) through the bog bed might save you a lot of bother when drought is imminent.

    Though, as a regime of benign dictatorship over the realm of the pond may be convenient, one could allow the old pond to just gently fade into oblivion, gathering mulm frogs and leaves, while pondering the transition from a perky pond to a perky well planted swamp, then a magnificent Gunerra and day lily adorned bog pond. Now and then plonking suitable ornamental plants for such a leisurely transition in a mild temperate climate

    A decade or so, no rush...

    Regards, andy
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/21940871@N06/
    http://swglist.wordpress.com/
     
    adavisus, Dec 1, 2011
    #15
  16. bazza456

    Waterbug

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2010
    Messages:
    3,195
    Likes Received:
    1,260
    Location:
    Phoenix AZ
    Bazza, I hope there hasn't been some confusion...you do understand there is a difference between the 2 types of bogs Addy was talking about? The most common term for "bog" in Water Gardening is a lined "pond" filled with gravel so there no surface water showing. These were originally called "gravel filters" but Water Gardeners liked the term bog better. The other type of bog we've had to add the word "true" to as in "true bog". The two are very different.

    However, in both cases an intact liner is normally required. A true bog has some needs like specific nutrients and low pH. These can be pretty hard to control without a liner. Normally "true bogs" are kind of an acquired taste.

    Poking holes in the liner or removing the liner and hoping for water to collect would generally just be a wet spot in the garden. Depending on depth, there are lots of plants that could be used. Mosquitoes and algae can be a problem with these depending on depth and the amount of rain you get.

    If just rain fed and allowed to dry out in the summer it would be called a Vernal Pool. These can also be lovely, but again, specific plants must be chosen and placed carefully. A bit complex to setup but then almost maintenance free.

    If you don't want the liner you may be able to sell it on Craig's List. The buyer might even dig it up for you.
     
    Waterbug, Dec 1, 2011
    #16
  17. bazza456

    bazza456

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2011
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Suffolk
    Hi Waterbug,

    I think you have hit the nail of the head! It sounds like it is a Vernal Pool I am after so many thanks for making the distinction between this and a proper bog garden. What sort of plants would you suggest could be used in this situation?

    Best regards,

    Bazza
     
    bazza456, Dec 4, 2011
    #17
  18. bazza456

    Waterbug

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2010
    Messages:
    3,195
    Likes Received:
    1,260
    Location:
    Phoenix AZ
    Kind of depends how far you want to go. Reproducing an actual vernal pool would be a challenge. They are so tuned to local conditions. I only know about vernal pools around San Francisco Bay, I just collected seeds and grew plants but couldn't create a real vernal pool. Maybe you can find some local vernal pools?

    If you just want the look it can be forced by creating thin barriers that follow the land contours and planting with low growing flowering plants including terrestrial plants like Alyssum.

    You could also just plant the whole deal, then fill with water in the spring and let the water evaporate over the summer. Do no maintenance for years and see what nature provides. You could also mess with the pH. I don't think it's just the water level that creates these but also the sudden change in pH between wet and dry areas and how that condenses as the water volume reduces. But I'm not sure about that.

    I do think an intact liner would be needed, or at least a big help at creating the abrupt changes in environment needed to stress the plants into growing in bands. And a vernal pool is a stressful environment for plants, it's a requirement.
     
    Waterbug, Dec 4, 2011
    #18
  19. bazza456

    adavisus

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2011
    Messages:
    1,253
    Likes Received:
    754
    Location:
    carolinas
    Vernal ponds are very particular habitats, often listed as protected in the wild

    Theres very few plants that cope with saturated wet conditions one season and bone dry the next.

    Of the seven temporary vernal ponds here, it's fairly typical for a few toughies like really, really hardy waterlilies to barely sputter into life before drought pickles them in bone dry mud dormancy, spike rush just about hangs in there.

    Though, by the time some rains think about damping them a tad, a perty fine crop of grass and weed seeds are well poised to spring to life just in time to root in well in advance of spring

    Regards, andy
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/21940871@N06/
    http://swglist.wordpress.com/
     
    adavisus, Dec 4, 2011
    #19
  20. bazza456

    Waterbug

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2010
    Messages:
    3,195
    Likes Received:
    1,260
    Location:
    Phoenix AZ
    Bazza, after giving vernal pools some more thought I reread your original post and am thinking you really just want to convert the existing pond into landscaping with minimal effort? If true I can see why you mentioned vernal pools as a choice, because you wouldn't have to fill it in. True?

    If true I would remove the liner.

    For plants you could use what's called "marginals" in the deepest part These are pond plants that can take being in standing water but are also OK in damp soil, they don't require standing water. It kind of depends on the amount of rain and soil type on how much standing water this will have. I'm kind of assuming there will be 12" of standing water for weeks at a time, maybe months.

    Deep parts
    Cattail
    Umbrella Palm
    Papyrus
    Pickeral Rush
    Lizards Tail

    Less Deep
    Zebra Rush
    Calla Lily
    Canna, any kind
    Horsetail Rush
    Corkscrew Rush
    Parrot's Feather
    Sweet Flag
    Water Clover (Pennywort)

    Around Edge
    Creeping Jenny
    Moneywort
    Any Iris
    Water Zinnia
    Bulrush (short)
    Ruellia
    Society Garlic

    You can also plant a tree like Marsh Mallow, Althaea, which one of my personal favorites.

    Most or all of the plants I listed can grow very fast and spread...they can also died out. For example some like Horsetail send out runners and can get into the lawn. Others like Iris, Canna, Cattail spread by dividing and are easier to contain. I also don't know your climate so I had to guess.

    The reason I suggested filling the pond with gravel is to eliminate algae and mosquitoes. But you could try just removing the liner and see how it goes. Once the liner is out you can toss any extra soil you have to reduce depth, but I wouldn't use any potting type soils.
     
    Waterbug, Dec 4, 2011
    #20
    1. Advertisements

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.