Bog in a Barrel

The barrel planter began as a water feature – a few water plants, a little fountain, and a goldfish. After three years, I gave it up as a failure. So it sat by the greenhouse, patiently waiting to be reused or tossed. Then the spring came that I needed a temporary home for pond supplies. I partially filled it with river pebbles, so when I needed to schlep a bucket full to the pond, they were conveniently located. The remainder sat there. Then I needed a place to leave patches of moss that were also destined for the pond edge. What didn’t wind up at the pond began to take over the barrel.

I now accidentally had a fine place to stow bog and shade plants while staging them for the woodland garden. But, unfortunately, not all of them or their seeds made it there. So the barrel had become a permanent waystation for plant refugees.

About three years ago, I realized that it had started to fill out as a sort of bog garden on its own. While incomplete, it was reaching towards its own very crowded identity.

Bundled all together are 

  1. Obedient flower, 
  2. Cardinal flower, 
  3. lupine, 
  4. ostrich fern, 
  5. sensitive fern, 
  6. rattlesnake plantain, 
  7. pipsissewa, 
  8. princess pine, 
  9. sedge, 
  10. a pitcher plant, 
  11. jewelweed, 
  12. water horehound, 
  13. partridge berry, mosses, 
  14. aster 
  15. shinning moss,
  16. and a few I can’t identify

The bog in a barrel has become one of my favorite parts of the garden and ample proof that nature executes its design whatever we plan.

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