Brainstorming a new min-bog

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Inspired by some of the other posts on this forum, I’d like to put together a small bog garden to grow… well as wide a variety of plants as will survive outside in the UK as possible. I suspect the right time to do this is spring time after any risk of frost has passed, but I’ll be planning and collecting materials over winter.

I don’t have a suitable site in my garden for anything substantial, so I’m thinking of a mini-bog in a half barrel planter type thing, as seen in a few other threads. I also won’t be able to move it anywhere for the winter, so it will need to over winter in place, possibly with some form of covering if need be.

I’ve come up with three potential designs, and would appreciate any feedback anyone can offer to help me pick between them. Thought so far are:

Common design features: All bog ideas would be a half barrel planter, with a drainage tap at the base, and drainage holes nearer the top. Inside would be an upturned washing up bowl (with holes drilled and surrounded in peat) acting as a reservoir, with a pipe drilled into it to allow me to top up the bog. Very much an idea inspired by (or completely stolen from) this thread: 


Option 1: The simplest option would be to buy a plastic imitation planter, and construct it as above. This is the most basic design.

Option 2: The same as option 1, but use a wooden planter. My thought there is that wood may provide a bit more thermal insulation around the base and sides of the planter, so help it overwinter a bit better. On the other hand, would the planter rot within a few years?

Option 3: All singing all dancing option. A wooden planter, but instead of just using the planter line it and insulate it. The insulation could be a layer of sand, or I have also considered placing polystyrene tiles between the wood and the liner, increasing the insulation further. I’ve heard it isn’t great to mix polystyrene with bogs, but I’m thinking that as it’s separated by the liner this may be ok?

My options feel like they get better as I go down the list, but I’m wondering if it’s worth the extra expense and effort in an attempt to better insulate the bog? To judge the winters it will be expected to see, I’m in the Hertfordshire area of the UK, so not too far north I hope. Thoughts are very welcome! I'll update this thread with decisions/designs/progress as I go.

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Wooden planters do rot, my half barrel (unlined) rotted beyond redemption in about five years, a similar lined barrel lasted a little longer, but still rotted due to water getting between the liner and the barrel wall.

If you are intending to grow mostly Sarracenia I wouldn't worry too much about the insulation unless your planter is small and sand wont act as an insulator once wet. 

Your option 1 is the easiest and robust solution, I have a number of plastic planters with Sarracenia in and they work just fine, wood is good if you need aesthetically pleasing. just pop a horticultural fleece, or similar, over the plants if it is going to be below freezing for a long period.




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I haven't tried it but I seen a post where someone built a minibog out of an old bathtub and it seemed pretty neat both aesthetically and functionally. Just a thought.

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