After dutifully filling our pond with sand and peat moss up to the elevation of the pond's two "outfalls," I sat and waited this winter, rather than hastily planting our new bog last fall.
Hydrologically it means keeping the new soil moist but not underwater, for reasons including mosquitos. So I wrangled up some more sand and peat moss (the soil foundation of a bog) and laid it down.
I eagerly awaited the next spring rainstorm, which eventually came, and it looks like we are finally ready to plant. The final elevations, relative to the pond's primary outfall, range from -0.5" to +2". Even with settling, that should work.
I came up with a planting plan that ended up being a little overwhelming due to all of our constraints. Those constraints included:
*plants must be shade tolerant
*plants must be tolerant of constantly saturated soil
*plants must be tolerant of low pH (bog) soil
*plants must not be poisonous
*plants must be able to withstand occasional trampling by cats, raccoons, opossums, birds, and toddlers.
The choices are pretty limited, but I came up with three species that should work:
Ostrich Fern, one of my favorite forest/wetland plants, which has a beautiful growing habit and can be a huge plant. The spot is truly shady and I'm curious how big it will get. The plant is variously endangered/at risk/threatened throughout the Northeast, which is basically a function of the widespread destruction of its habitat - forested wetlands.
Catesby's Trillium, a woodland flower native to the southern Appalachians (not where I live), with a nice pink flower. We'll see if it can survive the summer! I currently grow red trilliums and two species of Jack-in-the-Pulpit, a similar plant, so there is hope.
Bloodroot, a native woodland flower that blooms (white) in early spring. Bloodroot was used by the Algonquins to induce vomiting. Wikipedia says that if applied to the skin as a salve, it "causes disfigurement." If Hank takes an interest in the plant, I'll have to compost them all. Enough said!
Here's what I think it will look like (orientation is opposite of the photos):
Phase III - Planting the Bog - when we reach growing season in a few weeks!