Transforming the bog garden


In my diary on the 15th of June, I wrote I felt worn out and excited – both! That was the day I started the transformation of our bog garden.

This spring we had become discontented with it. It looked lovely in April and May full of wild garlic and various ferns, but come summer it lacked lushness and was smothered in native weeds. We decided it needed a revamp.

I must admit I was quite daunted about the amount of work and weeding ahead. Not that I dislike weeding but I found the situation only had one solution – no faffing about. I carefully weeded round all the plants we wanted to keep and dug out everything else thoroughly – plants infested with weeds and we dealt with all the out of control bamboo. The team and I weeded the entire garden and then I dug the whole area over. No mean feat I can tell you.

I came at last to the exciting moment of putting plants into the soil. We have a stream running through the bog garden and so the soil remains near constantly damp. Here I have planted various hostas – mainly the large varieties such as ‘Sum and Substance’, ‘Snowden’ and ‘sieboldii’ but we have included ‘Fried Green Tomatoes’, ‘Funky Monkey’, ‘Green Bananas’ and ‘Wrinkles and Crinkles’ because we love their names. Also ‘Brother Ronald’ was a must as that’s Hew’s brother’s name.

Next I planted one of the biggest and most spectacular architectural plants there is – Gunnera manicata which will make quite a feature on its own. I’ve also added astilbes, rodgersias, Iris sibirica, candelabra primulas and ligularias that will give a wonderful display in conditions they will thrive in.

Last but not least the whole team gathered together to put down three tons of gravel to refresh the paths. Not many people have the privilege of having a bog garden. It is an invaluable habitat for a wide range of wildlife and by hard work and careful choice of planting, we hope we have created a magnificent area of the garden.