Yay - I managed to find some time this weekend to start building the fourth bog garden. I went for the largest size prefab pond I could get so I would have some spare room for new plants.
When I made the bog gardens last year I found myself rushed due to, well, life. This meant some things were not done the way I would have liked at the time – such as getting the overflow right. While I sort of fixed some of the issues with retrofits, they are probably still less than optimal. I also figured out how I could do some things better.
So this time round I am taking my time to make sure I get things done right first go. Here is progress for this weekend:
In the last gardens, I used 65 mm ag pipe both as a filling mechanism and as part of the reservoir system under the peat layer the plants grow in. While this arrangement works well, it makes the ponds extremely heavy. If I ever need to move them, I’m in trouble. This time, I am using 100 mm ag pipe sleaved in a geotextile as the reservoir level. It achieves much the same effect as the gravel but will probably hold even more water while making the pond lighter when drained. I brought 20 meters to be safe, but found 10 meters would be sufficient for a 1.1 meter round pond.
I used the longest cable ties I could get my hands on to hold the pipe in a coiled position. When adding the ties, I ended up attaching two end to end to accommodate the large pipe size. Starting by bending the end in 90 degrees, I progressively worked my way along the pipe, coiling it and securing the coil with more and more ties as it got larger. I ended the coil in such a way so that I could add a 100 mm filling tube. Its construction, along with the overflow, will be the next jobs on making the bog and the next blog post accordingly. After that, it is time to add the peat and sand and then, finally the plants. I want to have the plants in by the end of the month, as otherwise it will be getting too close to when they will break dormancy and I will have very unhappy plants.
To close, Canberra is having a very cold winter (by Australian standards anyway) this year due to the prevailing El nino weather pattern. Friday we got –8*C here, and today it was only 2*C at midday. The bird bath and water trays for the last of the potted Sarracenia have had a thick layer of ice over them constantly for nearly a week! The Sarracenia tolerate this perfectly well, and the Sarracenia purpurea and S. rosea (above) have had ice in their pitchers. That Sphagnum is frozen solid by the way…
This Sarracenia x moorei is normally a very dark red, but with its heavy frost coat you wouldn’t know.
More to come on the bog garden construction next weekend. Until then, keep warm!