Creating a Bog Landscape

Published 1:22 pm Saturday, February 12, 2022

By: Carmen Ulfers, MSU Pearl River County Extension Service Master Gardener

I became a Master Gardener in 2017. That’s what opened me up to native plants, their important role in the environment, and the idea of creating a bog and other natural landscapes. A bog landscape is easy to obtain if you have an area on your property that doesn’t drain well. My bog is a natural branch that runs 250 feet across the front of the property with a 100 feet depth and starts just beyond the lawn.

It was somewhat easy to transform 25,000 square feet of muck into the bog that I love. I removed most of the small loblolly pine trees (Pinus teada) that were in the area, along with an abundance of small Titi trees (Cryilla racemiflora), leaving two large ones as specimen plants in the bog. I placed three culverts so that the rainwater could continue to flow naturally and built golf cart trails that are passable most of the year. This allows easy access to each section of the bog to enjoy the native plants up close and serves as a firebreak when I burn the bog each year in late winter for a fresh flush of wildflowers in the spring.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

The Few-flower milkweed (Asclepias lanceolata), Joe Pye Weed (Eutrochium purpureum), and Boneset (Eupatorium perfoliatum) are a few of the native herbaceous perennials that keep the butterflies and many other pollinators in the bog area. There are many native grasses, perennials, and shrubs that have happened naturally. I was able to add many of my favorite natives from the Crosby Arboretum plant sales and my master gardener friends. A few natives that you may want to consider are Pond cypress (Taxodium ascendens), Buttonbush (cephalanthus occidentalis), and Switchgrass (Panicum vigatum).

It’s not difficult to have a native landscape in a corner of your yard. Simply leave it alone… there’s no need to protect anything through the winter or fertilize in the spring. Certainly, there is no need to weed.  For more information about bogs or becoming a Master Gardener, contact the Pearl River County Extension Service at 601-403-2280.