Student members from Bangor University Wetlands Society joined the volunteers of Bangor University’s Healing Garden last Sunday to create a horticultural bog garden, which also lends itself as a habitat to local wildlife.
The bog garden is one of the new developments within the diverse Sensory Spiral on site, a collaboration with Headway Gwynedd to create a space of recovery and mindfulness for local patients of brain injury.
Bog Gardens have a horticultural history, often used to replace a redundant or leaky pond, they create conditions for water loving plants without the hazard of open water within community gardens. They create planting opportunities for the often unused waterlogged parts of the garden landscape.
The team began by removing half a tonne of topsoil from a 5 m square patch near the resident pond, then laid the pond liner over the area. The topsoil was then placed into the bog garden before being planted up with suitable plants (Astillbe, Bullrush, Water Iris and Gunnera.) The pond liner raises the water table by reducing the drainage, the bog garden will become saturated after a few winter rainfalls.
The result was an effortless addition to the garden, which is low maintenance and a real benefit to the local wildlife. The pollinator friendly horticultural choices should provide a diverse source for invertebrates visiting the garden, as well as a habitat for amphibians and reptiles which thrive in the damp spaces created.
It is hoped that the garden will provide a sustainable habitat, and to showcase the student ran wildlife garden which is both productive and enhancing for the gardeners, visitors and wildlife.
Adding even the smallest source of water to the urban gardens of Britain is just one way we can re-wild our gardens, in a delicate and horticultural-ly beautiful way. Better than a bird bath, water brings every type of wildlife into the garden, as well as a peaceful ornament for garden visitors to enjoy.
Creating habitats and connecting the habitats of our green spaces is one way I am enjoying re-wilding on my doorstep, I hope to continue this project by inviting local community groups and schools to try to same – through educational workshops with the North Wales Wildlife Trust.