How to create a wildlife bog garden

Do it:

Mar, Apr, May, Sep, Oct, Nov

Takes just:

two hours

If you don't want a pond or don't have room for one, a bog garden is a great alternative. It's easy to make and will soon become a valuable habitat for a wide range of moisture-loving creatures, from newts and frogs to damselflies.

Many small insects will shelter in the lush vegetation, providing a food source for insectivorous birds. This is especially valuable when they are raising their hungry broods. Bats may even visit at dusk to feed on flying insects.

You will need

A spade

Pond liner or thick polythene

Grit or gravel

Well-rotted garden compost or soil conditioner

Nectar-rich moisture-lovers, such as water flag irises



In a sunny spot, dig a hole 45-60cm deep and lay pond liner or thick polythene in the base. Make drainage holes, then pour in a 3-5cm layer of grit or gravel.

Fill the hole using the excavated soil mixed with well-rotted garden compost or soil conditioner. Trim the top of the liner so it's hidden just below the soil.

Plant nectar-rich moisture-lovers, such as water flag irises, marsh marigolds and purple loosestrife. Water well while they establish and add a thick layer of mulch.