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BUILD AN ALPINE BOG GARDEN

While alpine species are usually photographed as a flush of color bursting forth from a crack in a granite boulder or as a blossom-smothered bun sitting on a sea of dry gravel, there are many showy, easy-care alpines that enjoy sinking their roots into cold, wet squishy soil.

You may already have a naturally depressed area on your property that tends to collect runoff. But, if you don’t, you can easily construct a bog garden to blend with your dryland rockeries.

Here are the tools and materials you will need to construct a bog garden:

shovel; waterproof liner*; mattock or pick-axe if your soil is hard or rocky; pea gravel; wheelbarrow; peat moss (for acidic bog); pitchfork or digging fork to make holes in liner; good, water-retentive soil; rocks, landscape ties, etc. for border.

*There are many options to consider in choosing a liner. I use 6 mil plastic sheeting that is 10 feet wide by 25 feet long and is sold at Wal-Mart in the paint department. This size gives me a width of 6 feet and a length up to 21 feet, since the side walls of the depression also need to be covered. You might choose pond-liner material, a waterproof tarp or even a child’s swimming pool.