Checking in on the bog garden

The bog garden (construction posts here and here) is doing nicely; the sphagnum is taking off with the onset of some cooler weather, the cranberry foliage is turning red and the sundews are getting a second wind.

The whole thing.

the bog

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Drosera rotundifolia

D rotundifolia

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Drosera intermedia

D. intermedia

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Spiranthes cernua v. odorata – blossoms are just opening

img_4138.jpg

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And a couple shots of potted plants: Sarracenia minor Okefenokee Giant fenestrations

S. minor fenestrations

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An unknown Sarracenia hybrid

Sarracenia ?

Bog Garden I: construction

I’ve been thinking about putting in a bog garden for a couple years now, since I first encountered Mike and Richard’s excellent example:

Bog at Black Jungle

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Info on how they did it is here.

Rather than use a preformed plastic pond, I decided to use pond liner (should be available at any nursery/greenhouse with a water garden section; I got mine from Wentworth Greenhouses). It went like this:

Layout – I used a garden hose to outline the bog. I wanted a teardrop shape; since my liner was 8′ x 10′, I sized the bog at 5′ x 7′ at its maximum. The 3′ extra is to accommodate an 18″ depth (obvious, but…). the teardrop is oriented so that the narrow end points at the low spot in the layout. We’ll see whether I pull it off, but what I want to suggest is a seep/spring that peters out into the grass – I’m going to transplant some Siberian Iris into the drainage area.

bog build

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Digging out. A bamboo culm to span the sides, a tape measure for depth readings and a level. Getting the sides perfectly level is less critical with a bog that it is with a water garden – sphagnum will hide some sins. That being said, it’s probably best to avoid pitching the thing like a dang ski jump.

bog build

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Dig? Dug!

bog build

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Most pond-liner how-tos I’ve seen recommend putting down special underlayment to protect the rubber and if my soil had been a little bonier I might have considered it. It’s not though; I’ve got nice sandy loam down to 18″, so I took the swamp yankee approach – a newsprint protective layer.

bog build

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Laying the rubber in place:

bog build

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And beginning the fill with a sphagnum peat/rainwater slurry:

bog build

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I used 3 1/2 bales of peat

bog build

to get it mostly filled up

bog build

and then topped it with a bag of long fiber sphagnum (I’ll add another bag if I can find one).

bog build

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Voilà!

bog build

Shelving the Carnivores

As my Sarracenia collection has expanded, my backyard table’s become covered with mini-bogs. I figured I’d reclaim it, so I threw together a shelf out of salvaged cinderblocks, chimney tile, disk rotor and strapping. Further proof that I am a DFH – swamp yankee subsp. [n.b. - some of the photos below, rather than embiggening when clicked as is our normal practice, will instead link to the main Flickr photo page so you can see attached notes.]

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Sarracenia unknown’s hood (maybe Tarnok?)

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A side (yard) note – the cherries are ready and the new growth bamboo is leafing out.

A Day at Black Jungle – Plants

Today was Black Jungle‘s 16th anniversary Open House. A couple of other froggers and I made the trip down – it was a great day for a road trip (shout-out to S for doing the driving!). Black Jungle has an amazing selection of carnivorous plants and the Sarracenia are in tip-top shape at this time of year – flowers, new growth – wow.

A Sarracenia minor hybrid – the windows (fenestration) on the leaf is an S. minor characteristic.

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Sarracenia flava – the hood is perfectly shaped to channel rainwater away from the pitcher’s mouth.

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Sarracenia catesbaei – I’m mostly (but not dogmatically) a species guy, but for this beauty, I make an exception. It’s a naturally¬†occurring (flava x purpurea) hybrid, named for a naturalist who should be better known: Mark Catesby.

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But it wasn’t all carnivorous, all the time – Calopogon tuberosus – a beautiful little bog orchid.

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And not all bog, either. A Hoya macgillivray‘s flowers getting ready to open. They are going to be huge – the buds, unopened, are larger around than a quarter.

Sequential leaves

One of my favorite group of carnivorous plants is the epiphytic Utricularia – the section Orchidioides. I have three specimens (still looking for the elusive jamesoniana – if you have any, I have a large division of humboldtii to trade). It struck me the other morning what a nice gradation of shape one sees in the leaves of my three:

U. humboldtii – a pretty fan.

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U. reniformis – the fan is wide open!

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U. nelumbifolia – the edges meet.

(In fact, some nelumbifolia leaves resemble reniformis – see this picture from sarracenia.com.)

And nelumbifolia’s eponym, Nelumbo ‘Chawan Basu’.

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All of the carnivores are loving the summer sun. My Brocchinia reducta are yellowing up nicely

and the Sarracenia alata are making lots of fresh new pitchers.