Create a Wildlife Bog Garden

How to create a wildlife bog garden

Find out how to create a beautiful bog garden, packed with flowering plants for wildlife.

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If you don’t want a pond or don’t have room for one, a bog garden is a great alternative.

It’s surprisingly 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.

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Follow our simple advice on creating a wildlife bog garden, below.

If you don't want a pond or don't have room for one, a bog garden is a great alternative.

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
  • Mulch

Total time:

Step 1

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.


Step 2

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.


Step 3

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.


Using old ponds

As well as creating a bog garden from scratch, bog gardens are also a good way to give old, leaky ponds a new lease of life.