Friday, August 26, 2011

World's Smallest Bog

Wandering around in my rock garden, coffee cup to hand, I once again found myself studying a deepish depression in the underlying granite. The garden was made, and is being made, on a large outcropping of pink granite. I have cleared off some of the stone, moving what soil there was into the depressions, and then I've planted into these 'beds'. But this particular depression is different in that it doesn't drain very well. It isn't large, maybe 25 square feet at surface level, but about 3 feet deep and drained only by a not-very-large crack. It is often full of water. Reeds and bullrushes actually sprout in it.

Looking at it, I decided that what I really wanted there, in fact what I absolutely had to have there in order to achieve True Garden Happiness, was a bog. A real bog, and right now.

While it might seem strange to have a bog in the middle of a rock garden, it does make a certain amount of sense when you realize that, in the mountains, you go up to find water. In the lowlands, you go down, but in the mountains you go up. And what's a rock garden if not a pretend mountain side?

I got at it right away. Carried pails of sand up and dumped them in. Scraped up a few loads of old decomposed moss and covered the sand mound with it. This stuff, which I got from the edge of the marsh,  is not quite peat, but well decomposed and 'peaty'. And light to carry!

I still had 3 small Pitcher Plants, Sarracenia purpurea, in pots. I had planted them at the edge of the marsh, in the peaty area, but some critter kept dragging them out and I got tired of re-planting them so put them back in their pots. Amazingly, they have done just fine. One even bloomed this summer. Anyway, I planted them in my new 'bog', added some baby Sundews, Drosera rotundifolia, and some clumps of live Spaghnum. I sprinkled some sand on top to keep the peat from blowing away and voila:

The Sundews are on the mossy log you see on the left. Too small to show up, but they'll grow! Here's a closer look at the Pitcher Plants:

Hopefully the moss will 'take' and spread to cover the whole thing. I'll probably have to add water during dry spells, but hey, that's only sometimes. The rest of the time I can pretend I'm in the mountains!

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