Showing posts with label bog garden. Show all posts
Showing posts with label bog garden. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Wetland Gardens

How do I create a wetland garden?
We live on a lake in Michigan and I want to start planning a wetland garden. We have an area by the lakeshore that is always mushy, so I'd like to embrace mother nature and plant a wetland garden in this area that will look better than muddy grass. And I would hope this area would improve drainage in my yard. How much maintenance does this type of garden require? What mulch or other bedding material would be best? The area is probably 30 ft long by 5-8 feet.

Here's an article I wrote about building a bog garden.
In Michigan, my home state, I would use cattails and hardy rushes. Drainage would indeed be improved and the area would look nice. Maintenance would be very little. I mulch mine a couple times a year.

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Monday, April 09, 2007

My Bog Garden

I just planted a bog garden in my front yard. Seems strange, you say, to put bog garden in a front yard. Well, I guess it is. But you don't have my front yard.

My new front yard is so low and the water table is so high that crawfish chimneys dot the grass. Most plants cannot grow unless I put raised berms in and the plants in the berms. That means I have to water the plants daily and that certainly doesn't help the high water table situation at all.

After Katrina took our last house where the water table was much lower, we jumped on this house that did not flood. After Katrina, there was no rain in Southeast Louisiana for more than 6 months, so who knew that crawfish laid a claim on my front yard. When the rains got back to normal, my yard was a minefield. I could have caught the mud bugs and eaten them if I were not a vegan.

After trying to figure out what to do with the yard and after writing several articles about bog gardens, I decided to work with what I had rather than against it. I have no idea why there was some sort of disconnect in my brain that allowed me to write numerous bog and rain garden articles, but not consider one for my yard. I shall call it post Katrina PTSD.

So, all these months after Katrina, living in a new house where I could not walk to the mailbox without getting wet to my ankles, I decided to put in a bog garden.

It began with removing grass and moving it to where the septic tank installer had left a 10 foot wide strip of sandy clay where nothing grows in hopes of it grabbing on and maybe growing. One can hope.

That left two large areas of mud or mud holes as my mother would call them.

I had already ordered cannas, cattails, papyrus, cyperus, sedge, rushes, marsh marigolds, dozens of irises and cardinalis for my bog. I was thrilled when they arrived.

I order plants bare root from a grower, so they are tiny when they arrive. But you can see the plants in the mud if you look hard.

I decided I needed to mulch them up so we would not have our own mosquito breeding factory.
Ran out of mulch before I was done, so you are seeing bogs in progress.

I have the rest of the mulch which will be applied tomorrow. I have the wood for the walkway to install between the front porch and the mailbox, so we will not have to drive around the boggy yard just to retrieve mail.