Home > Decorating Your Pond > Creating a Bog Plant Shelf in Your Pond

Creating a Bog Plant Shelf in Your Pond

By: Dr Gareth Evans - Updated: 11 Aug 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
Bog Plants Marginals Foliage Colour

Bog plants and marginals come in a wide array of colours and shapes offering unparalleled possibilities for planting your pond. A careful selection arranged imaginatively can make the transition from pond to garden appear seamless and adds a whole new dimension to any water feature.

Accommodating these showy plants, with their roots in the water, but their foliage and flowers standing clear of the surface, requires a shelf within the pond, a feature fortunately included in almost all pre-formed shapes and easy enough to construct if you are using a liner. Even if you have inherited an otherwise perfectly good pond without one, all is not lost – and the end result is certainly worth the effort.

Big is Beautiful

If you are creating a pond from scratch and intend to use a liner rather than a pre-formed shape, then you have the greatest flexibility to enjoy the full potential of the bog/marginal shelf. The choice of both position and size is entirely up to you – and if you can afford the space, the bigger the bog plant shelf, the better.

Many pre-formed styles incorporate a bog shelf, but typically these designs are principally intended to maximise the available water for fish – tending to make the provision for marginals rather too scanty and narrow. Unfortunately this leaves little scope for imaginative planting – regimented rows along the ledge being about the best you can hope for – and marred all too often by protruding planting baskets. The best bog plant shelves are specialised, dedicated areas within the pond and the good news is that even if the current provision does not really allow the potential of these marginal and bog plants to be utilised to the full, it is not too difficult a job to make things significantly better.

Flexible Planting

If the pond design allows, columns of bricks – laid safely and securely to avoid them being easily knocked over – can be used to support a slate or other suitably sized stone to add a new shelf. This sort of arrangement also allows you to have a number of bog shelves, at various different depths, to accommodate a far greater range of marginals and bog plants than would normally be possible in most kinds of prefabricated pond. It also allows far greater flexibility to move plants around, if needs be, to achieve the sort of overall “look” wanted and avoids the problem of what to do when a particular marginal outgrows the space on a narrow ledge or needs a larger basket than the shelf’s depth will take.

It may not be ideal to lose so much open water in a fish pond, but it is just about the only way to have foliage alongside koi and other large carp – planting on a shelf in the shallows stops the fish from being able to get at the plants and root them up. Wide bog shelves are also perfect for attracting wildlife, giving creatures an easy route into and out of the water and a good place to hide.

Whatever the kind of pond – formal, fishy or froggy – there is always scope for including some well chosen marginals and a well designed shelf is the key to getting the most out of what they have to offer. Though it may be a bit of a fiddle creating one in the first place – especially in a pre-existing pond – but well stocked with bog plants, it will repay the effort for years to come.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • Liynds
    Re: What Could be the Reason for all the Fish Dying?
    We have a pond in this house a year we had ,had nothing but problems we brought our fish from our other…
    12 October 2019
  • Buddy
    Re: Protecting Your Pond Life From Predators
    Just found my 2-1/2foot sturgeon dead and half eaten in the garden it weighed about 10 pound plus we live in GT…
    12 October 2019
  • Nlleeroy
    Re: Edging Your Pond
    Hi I've got epdm lined pond and will be edging it with clay tiles. The edge laps up and over a berm (highwater point) and will run a 3rd under the…
    3 October 2019
  • mick
    Re: Choosing the Right Water Lily for Your Pond
    Hello, I have a smallish pond with quite a large lily in place could this be the reason why my water level is…
    17 September 2019
  • Cookey
    Re: Managing Plant Overgrowth Within Your Pond
    I help look after a small pond in a garden on the Isle of Wight England . We have various pond plants well…
    16 September 2019
  • Sheryl in Virginia
    Re: Pond Snails in Your Pond
    Should I put snails in my barrel pond in late August or wait till spring? I am in Virginia in U.S. Also what are best ones for here ( I…
    27 August 2019
  • John
    Re: Plant Problems
    I created a garden pond, about two feet deep a couple of years ago. I added a small lily and an oxygenating plant. It has a small solar-powered…
    26 August 2019
  • Tom
    Re: Why Is My Pond Green and Frothy?
    My pool contains approx 700 gallons of water. In it I have a large health lily plant which covers a 3rd of the surface. I…
    15 August 2019
  • Charlongo79
    Re: Plant Problems
    We bought a miniature water lily 3 years ago and for the last two years it has had lovely small leaves and flowers on it. This year however it is…
    13 August 2019
  • Bartlam
    Re: Edging Your Pond
    This is my first pond.worried I overfed the fish cause the water gone brown.do I have to cover the top of the pond with slabs.when I bought the…
    9 August 2019