Water Gardening – Wetlands – Bogs And Ponds

Wetland between street and sidewalk

Do you need to get some exercise? Your kids or other half need more exercise? Here’s a great Fall, Winter or Spring backyard project. Build and plant a small wetland or pond project for the whole family.

The USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) is a great resource for everything from planting and growing Asparagus to Zucchini. Container gardening or backyard gardens and raised bed gardens. Your tax money pays these government bureaucrats salary’s. Use all the totally free information available on the USDA websites. Most of this information is in the form of Fact Sheets and is in PDF format that can be down loaded for your personal use.

Source USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) Backyard wetland A mini-wetland in your yard can provide many of the same benefits that natural wetlands offer. A mini wetland can replace the important natural functions of wetlands.

A wetland (is not the same as a pond with a waterproof liner) in your backyard will temporarily store, filter, and clean runoff water from your roof and lawn. It will provide habitat for many interesting critters, from butterflies, bees, salamanders, toads, frogs and birds. A mini-wetland in your yard can provide many of the same benefits that natural wetlands offer. Most wetland plants do not require standing water to grow successfully and will survive even in an area that appears dry during most of the growing season.

Small well contained wetland


Plants you select for your wetland will depend on:
• length of time the soil will be saturated or covered with water
• depth of the water
• amount of sunlight on the site, your climate
• soil pH and size of your wetland.
Select plants that are hardy for your area and provide the desired wildlife habitat and aesthetics.The species of plants most common in other wetlands in your area with similar flooding cycles will be easiest to grow and need the least maintenance.

Native shrubs tolerant of wet soils:
Red osier dogwood (Cornus sericea)
Leatherwood (Dirca palustris)
Winterberry (Ilex verticillata)
Inkberry (Ilex glabra)
Pussy willow (Salix discolor)
Shrubby cinquefoil (Potentilla fruticosa)

Native herbaceous and flowering plants for sunny moist or boggy conditions:
Cattails (Typhus spp.)
Joe-Pye weed (Eupatorium maculatum)
Great blue lobelia (Lobelia siphilitica)
Ironweed (Vernonia noveboracensis)
Blue flag iris (Iris versicolor)
Boneset (Eupatorium perfoliatum)
Cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis)
Goldenrods (Solidago spp.)
Marsh marigold (Caltha palustris)
Swamp milkweed (Asclepias incarnata)
Gentian spp.

Native herbaceous and flowering plants for shady moist or boggy conditions:
Bee balm (Monarda didyma)
Arrowhead (Sagittaris latifolia)
False hellebore (Veratrum viride)
Turtlehead (Chelone spp.)
Royal fern (Osmunda regalis)
Skunk cabbage (Symplocarpus foetidus)
Netted chain fern (Woodwardia areolata)
Jack-in-the-Pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum)
Cinnamon fern (Osmunda cinnamonmea)
Shield ferns (Dropteris spp.)
Lady ferns (Athyrium spp.)

True bog plants requiring low pH and sun:
Sundews (Drosera spp.)
Butterworts (Pinguicula spp.)
Pitcher plants (Sarracenia spp.)

Not from the USA. Please leave me comment about your home town and country.

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7 responses to “Water Gardening – Wetlands – Bogs And Ponds

  1. Nice post! As an avid gardener, and town wetlands commissioner…it is always pleasant to see people using wetlands, or created wetlands, as opportunities and not problems.
    I’d add certain azaleas, buttonbush, elderberry, and if planted on the edge: witch-hazels, highbush blueberry, the list goes on.

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  2. Pingback: Florida - How to Vegetable Garden

  3. Teresa Cleveland Wendel

    Glad you mentioned the drosera and sarracenia. I raise carnivorous plants. Have you ever seen the bloom of the sarracenia? Prettier than anything.

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    • Re: Teresa Cleveland Wendel – I have never tried to grow them indoors and out 110+ degree summer day’s combined with our wind and low humidity is a real killer for most bog and swamp plants.
      Happy Holidays

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      • Teresa Cleveland Wendel

        I kept them outside all summer and in this dry climate they didn’t fare too well. After 2 months inside now, they’re hungry and happified.

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  4. Hi Dude! Really interesting blog. Great to know what you guys get up to on the other side of the ‘pond’ !! 🙂

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