18 August 2009

Pond Saga, Part 2

Pond Saga, Part 1

In a perfect world I should have dug the bog the same time I dug the pond. I would have bought a liner that fit both of them together. That would have cost more money and time that I had. Once the pond was up and running I began digging the bog. After I was finished, I laid the PVC liner in the hole and draped it over the edge, into the pond. The extra pump I had would pump water from the pond and to the bottom of the bog, where it would filter up and spill back where it came. Now came the hard part - buy, transport, wash and dump 15 to 20 cubic feet of pea gravel in the bog. It comes in 1/2 cubic foot bags that weigh almost 50 pounds each. At the time I was going to Lowe's on a regular basis, so I would buy 4 or 5 bags at a time. I would dump each of them in my wheelbarrow and hose them down until the waterat washed out was mostly clear, then dump the gravel into the bog - it took a long time. I still look at the bog sometimes and think I could use a few more bags!

Once it was done, I started collecting plants to put in it. I actually went out and paid full price for a couple of things. I already had some regular papyrus and elephant ears and, at a water garden plant swap, I got some cattails, pickerel rush, a bog lily and some floating plants like water hyacinth and water lettuce. So, I bought a really neat dwarf papyrus and some water irises. The bog has been an experimental garden for me. I spent most of the next year planting and re-planting things, either because they grew too much or not at all. I used to have as much as half of the bog to experiment with, but I've pretty much settled on what I want in there now. About a foot and a half square, closest to the front of the bog, I've planted carnivorous pitcher plants and similar plants that I'm happy with.

Initially the pond turned green, but about six weeks after the bog was up and running, the water cleared up and stayed that way until recently when I had trouble with the bog...

Recently I had decided to pull some of the plants out of the bog to divide and give away to friends with ponds. After I dug out the plants, I would put them in pots before returning them to the bog, so the roots wouldn't take over, like they had done in the past. I knew I shouldn't have sone this but, I did it anyway - I used a garden fork in the bog and ended up putting holes in the liner! Once I found out - empty pond will let you know - I unplugged the pump to the bog and started shoveling out pea gravel in order to uncover the hole. After days of finding holes, learning how to patch them, patching them, and finding more holes, I finally decided to buy a new liner. I got one similar to what I had before - when it arrived, I opened it up and discovered that it had a hole in it! I thought there was a chance I had put the hole in it when I opened the box, but upon further inspection, I realized I couldn't have done it. That was good news, because I was already feeling pretty sorry for myself. The company was nice enough to send me another liner free of charge. Once I got that, I proceeded to deconstruct the bog, put the liner in and build it back. I'm happy with how everythig turned out and I will not be doing that again!

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