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mrbadexample

Construction of a half-barrel bog garden.

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Garden centers around us sell them regularly.

ada

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Yeah, my local GC has them too, but they are 30 quid! I know where I can get one from with some discount too but it will still be more than 16 quid!!

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Can I ask where you got the barrel from for just 16 quid?!

Yes you may.

Here.

Seems a bit far from Ilkeston, but if there was something else you're after it might be worth a trip. They have a mighty fine selection of stuff.

Edit: Looks like you could have it delivered for £23.93 all in.

Edited by mrbadexample

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A few recent photos:

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I also made a cage for it because I want to keep bees out as much as possible. I like bees - I have a couple of bee hotels and need them to pollinate my veg. So it's a bit of a conflict of interest if the plants keep eating them. It also keeps birds and next-door-neighbour's-children's-footballs off.

DSCF4536.jpg

I've got a bit of damage from wind, slugs and snails, but mostly it's faring pretty well I think. :dance3:

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Lovely setup! It will look even better when the varius mosses occupy the surface.

By the way, that moss you first showed us is carpet moss and is not usable for bog gardens, since it grows very fast and forms clumped, thick bases beneath the surface that can suffocate other plants. I see it a lot in the mountains around here. It grows along with Sphagnum and sometimes forms carpets, and in a matter of months the sphagnum is gone and only this moss is left - it's very invasive.

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Winter approaches.

So, what do I do now? How cold does it need to get before I think about putting it to bed for the winter? My first thoughts were to pile a foot or so of straw on the top of it, and then leave it be until about March.

The sarracenia are looking a bit sorry for themselves - they've been blown all over the shop by the strong winds. I believe I need to cut these down to about an inch above the substrate level? :moderator: Does the same go for the purpurea in the middle, or is that best left? How about the other plants?

What sort of water level am I looking to maintain over winter?

Some help with what to do next would be much appreciated. I'll grab a current photo tomorrow if I get chance (i.e. remember). :whistle3:

Cheers all.

MBE :biggrin:

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Hi MBE

I seldom cut the pitchers off but I do tidy, i.e. cut off any brown material back to healthy green.leaves, preferring not to cut off any green material that can photosynthasise and help the plant. the purp should be OK as the pitchers last a couple of years, again just cut off any brown and dead material. Drosera and VFTs similar treatment. Thats just the way I do it, I know others cut them right back and have equal success.

Water level, the wisdom is to keep them just moist (almost impossible outside I know) I syphon off excess water if I think about it, but in reality seldom do and it doesnt seem to hurt them.

Now the vexed question of protection, I personnaly steer clear of straw and the like as if it is outside and gets wet, it compacts, remains soggy and provides a great breediong ground for disease, fungus and goodness knows what. I loosely cover with two or three layers of fern crosiers around the rhizomes so the rhizomes can breathe and whats left of the leaves photosynthasise, The VFTs get fully covered but dont suffer and are generally (unless badly frozen over winter) green when uncovered. You could insulate teh barell if you wanted to, to help in the deep freeze periods.

Watch out for the desiccating winds, it tends to be that that does the damage, the wind removes the moisture from the leaves, which if the ground is frozen, the roots cant replace and it effectively freeze dries the plant.

Cheers

steve

Edit

Just remembered you have the super dooper drain valve dont you, in which case I would be tempted to leave it open all winter and just water if the substrate starts to dry out.

Edited by billynomates666

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Thanks as always Steve.

This is what it looks like at the moment:

DSCF4803.jpg

I agree with your thoughts about straw - it will almost certainly end up a soggy mass on top of everything. I can get hold of some ferns without much trouble so I'll try that. Does it matter if they're green or brown?

I'm sure I can find something to insulate the actual barrel. Some bubble wrap or something.

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Hi MBE

Green or brown is no problem, if green, they brown up over autumn and winter and the pinna (leafy fingers) are just starting to fall off in March when you remove them, so they work quite well.

Cheers

Steve

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I had to use straw in the end, as I couldn't get hold of the ferns. I took the straw off today, as I was a bit worried about how things were faring. Not too badly by the looks - I think most things have survived reasonably well, although I won't know for certain for a while yet.

Boggarden3-3-13_zpsaca8467f.jpg

Straw's a bit messy though - there're bits all over the place. :(

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Hi MBE, nice to see

Congratulations! on the whole it seems to have bourne the winter well, fly traps are green (that probably wont last but they will be fine), cobra looks healthy, presumably the drosera have come through, and Sarrs look ready to go, the pupr will tidy itself up come the growing season. No problems with fungus then with the straw, did you cover the straw with something waterproof or leave it to the elements?

All we need now is sun, warmth and gentle rain, whats the chances of that happening eh. It'll probably be another month before anything starts to move, very frustrating but it gives us something to look forward to.

Cheers

Steve

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Hi MBE, nice to see

Congratulations! on the whole it seems to have bourne the winter well, fly traps are green (that probably wont last but they will be fine), cobra looks healthy, presumably the drosera have come through, and Sarrs look ready to go, the pupr will tidy itself up come the growing season. No problems with fungus then with the straw, did you cover the straw with something waterproof or leave it to the elements?

All we need now is sun, warmth and gentle rain, whats the chances of that happening eh. It'll probably be another month before anything starts to move, very frustrating but it gives us something to look forward to.

Cheers

Steve

I just left the straw open to the elements - never crossed my mind to cover it.

The only thing I don't like much is the mess it's made - fiddling little bits of straw all over the place. :rolleyes:

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Perhaps next year you will use a horticultural fleece?

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Perhaps next year you will use a horticultural fleece?

I think I might well do that - I've got plenty of it. :thanks: I've got some pretty cold weather on the way from Sunday, so should probably cover up again anyway. I'll go for the fleece this time.

Edited by mrbadexample

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Quite happy with the way this is looking at the moment:

DSCF5820_zps2418358c.jpg

I've added a couple of pings since the last photo. Particulary pleased with the Drosera, which are springing up all over the place.

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Annual(ish) update:

 

It just keeps getting better. One of my favourite things in the garden, and one of the best things I've made:

 

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My biggest problems are aphids sucking sap from new growth, causing distortion of the pitchers and VFTs, and baby slugs. Blue pellets would spoil the look, somewhat. It's particularly pleasing to see little baby sundews and pings popping up that have grown from seed.

Edited by mrbadexample
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My biggest problems are aphids sucking sap from new growth, causing distortion of the pitchers and VFTs, and baby slugs. Blue pellets would spoil the look, somewhat. 

 

You could try nematodes for that.

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well that is looking great,this has been a quality thread and a nice update,think the blue pellets might harm your plants,i really  want to do similar next year and this thread has some good info,i have read it a fair few times .You could try that copper tape around the top of the barrel to stop the little sods crawling up,never used it but sounds a good idea

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 .You could try that copper tape around the top of the barrel to stop the little sods crawling up,never used it but sounds a good idea

 

I tried it on orchid pots a few years back, may as well use string  :down:

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