Our mini-bog grades from a bog pool and very wet area, through a wet but not waterlogged section, to a raised bank suitable for plants typical of drier moorland or heathland, especially ‘dwarf shrubs’. It has been made with peat-free compost, as we do not want to destroy the habitat of wild plants to make our gardens.
Bogs are fascinating habitats and often wonderful places for plants. They typically get most or all of their water from rainfall – thus bogs are mostly found in the wetter north and west of Britain (although there are several fine bogs in Norfolk) – and they are acidic. The dominant plants in most bogs are Sphagnum mosses. These have special adaptations to control their environment, notably large cells that hold a lot water, just like a sponge, helping to keep their surroundings permanently wet and boggy.
When a plant dies, its remains are usually decomposed by fungi and bacteria and all the nutrients locked up during its lifetime in its leaves, stems and roots are returned to the soil and re-cycled. This process of decay requires oxygen, however, and when there is not enough oxygen in the soil due to waterlogging, the plant’s remains are only partly decomposed, producing peat (and when peat is fossilized, it turns into coal). Peat has been used for many years by gardeners and horticulturalists, but there are several pressing reasons why this practice should stop as soon as possible. Click here for more details.