The unique charm of orchids, pitcher plants, lilies that grow ten feet high, and other superb flowers which will thrive only in soil that is always moist.
1HOPE I have no reader who imagines for one instant that "bog gardens" have anything to do with mosquitoes, malaria, green scum, bad smells, wet feet, or anything unhealthy or unpleasant. If so, let him read the chapter on Peat Gardens and his prejudices will melt away as "breath ofFn a razor." Fifteen minutes in Sir Henry Yorke's bog garden would turn the most hardened skeptic into an enthusiast for life. The man whose soul does not thrill at the sight of a colony of lady slippers (plate 33) must be in a bad way. And these hardy orchids are typical of the wonders of the bog garden, many of which are amongst the shyest and most exquisite flowers in the world. The bog garden is a notable institution in England, and it should be even more popular in America, for, heaven knows, we have pest holes enough that should be drained and filled.
The ideal thing to do with a bit of low, wet land is to dig out enough of it to make a little lake and, if the land be springy, a brook leading to the lake. (See plate 96.) For then you can solve the whole problem of mosquitoes and malaria by simply putting gold fish into the lake. The running brook will do away with scum and sour soil. The splendid water supply will make every plant grow with luxurious abandon. The lake will attract birds to splash in the water and butterflies to hover over the flowers. Every flower that fringes the lake will have its loveliness doubled by its reflection in the mirror below. And, finally, the running brook will make your garden musical the year round, its every note brimming with suggestions of happiness and health. Truly, a delightful picture!
Another advantage in having a bog garden is that you carCt help succeeding with it. The water insures that. The wonderful luxuriance it will produce is a never-ending delight. No matter how rare, costly, or interesting any plant may be, one cannot enjoy it to the full if it looks starved, dwarfed, unhappy. And water side plants are so obviously prosperous and contented that it makes one happy just to look at them.