Q: I have a small, two-foot deep plastic-lined pond that I want to convert into a bog garden. Any suggestions on how I should proceed?
A: Bog gardens are fascinating to observe. Your first job is to fill the pool with a mixture of peat moss and gritty sand (not play sand). Get kids to help you by jumping up and down in the mixture as you slowly add water. Despite their efforts, it will take another month for the pond soil to settle and achieve the optimum pH for bog plants. You can leave it open for winter and plant in spring. Good plants include cardinal flower, Lobelia cardinalis, blazing star, Liatris elegans and pitcher plants. A good source is the Georgia Perimeter College Botanical Gardens, www.gpc.edu/~decbt. I have a guide to building a bog at xrl.us/BUILDBOG