Ponder This: Changes to the Bog

Well, shoot, I can't find any pictures of the pond from earlier this year to show how overgrown the gravel bog filterhad become with Colocasia, Louisiana iris and Blue Rush. (The Head Gardener says it might help if I'd tag the pictures when I uploaded them to the computer.) I asked my handy dandy pond guy, Justin Bristol of Pond Pros of Houston, to stop by and clean it out a bit ... the plants were large and well-rooted enough that I didn't want to risk injuring my back trying to get them out. A couple of days later, though, I decided I still wasn't happy with the way it looked, threw caution to the wind, and pulled up what was left. Then I went shopping!

A visit with the one and only Cramer at Nelson's Water Gardens in Katy provided the inspiration and encouragement needed to be more adventurous in my choices of plants for the bog. Cramer showed me a planting he'd done in a gravel bog at the nursery, using a variety of bedding plants and perennials, including torenia, scaevola and gomphrena. Incredible as it sounds, he also has an agave that's been growing in that bog for about 3 years. So I wandered the nursery in search of plants that I thought might be able to take the conditions ... when I was done, I had a purple-leafed coleus, a QIS Carmine gomphrena, a  White Swan Echinacea, and a scaevola. I also added one true bog plant, Dwarf Acorus.

I'm mostly happy with the results, although I do need something in
front of that pipe on the right. I added some smaller Louisiana irises
from my personal plant inventory and left some of the water

purslane already growing in the bog.

Here's a closer look.  The other thing I'd like to camouflage
is the black pond liner.  I wonder if adding some larger river rocks
at the back would interfere with the bog's filtering abilities?
And because it's so very lovely, here's a closeup of the 'Colorado' water lily, 
a gift from Jackie of Southern Post Journal.  Who's that pollinator hanging 
out on one petal?  
I'll do a follow-up post in a few weeks on how the planting does. Here's hoping it will be a positive report!


Fairegarden said…
It's beautiful, Cindy! I can imagine those larger plants were just too overwhelming for this space. Well done!
Gail said…
Cindy it sure looks good. I imagine that it is
wonderfully refreshing on a hot day. Gail
Gail said…
Cindy it sure looks good. I imagine that it is
wonderfully refreshing on a hot day. Gail
Alison said…
Your pond and bog look great! Is it river rock all the way down in the bog, or is there soil? I think a few more river rocks at the back would look good.
Cindy, it's super duper pretty. Remember, it's all a process. I have to tell myself this a lot. :)~~Dee
Layanee said…
Oh yes. I see why you are happy and the waterlily is dreamy. I am cool just looking at your pond.
Rock rose said…
Looks lovely. So do you have some suggestions on what not to plant. I have a tank in the works.
Cindy, MCOK said…
Thanks, y'all!

Frances, it's true, those big plants got in the way of the garden plantings behind the pond.

Gail, it's asking a lot of that little pond to be refreshing on a 100+ degree heat index day!

Alison, the bog has no soil, just pea gravel. Larger river rocks are what I'm thinking.

Dee, I'm glad someone else has to give themselves talkings-to.

Layanee, I really do like how it looks with shorter plants.

Jenny, the Colocasias/taros can be pretty aggressive, as can Louisiana iris. If you're keeping them in pots in the tank, it shouldn't be quite as much of a problem. My pond guy said he recommended to look for plants that clump, rather than send out rhizomes/runners.
How pretty and just what you need to survive your summers...a lovely cool vision in your garden.
Phillip Oliver said…
It was great meeting you at the Fling!
I love the pond Cindy! We have a small sedge grass covering a hose in our pond. I have to seperate it from time to time as it thickens, but it has worked great as a cover up!
Commonweeder said…
What a beautiful arrangement. I can imagine what a difference the shift in scale made. Water in the garden is something I am still working on.
Evan Hadley said…
Beautiful garden Neighbor! Any tips on where we can find the best stuff for a backyard Koi pond here in Katy?
Cindy, MCOK said…
Leslie, the illusion of coolth is too often just that ...

Philip, it was great to meet y'all too! Tell Michael thanks for the hair tips!

Linda, any idea of which Sedge you have?

Pat, I would love an even bigger pond but I'm not willing to give up existing bed space to an expansion!

Evan, right down the road in Katy proper is Nelson Water Gardens. They know their stuff!