Carnivorous Garden Part 2 – Design Tips


When planning your first carnivorous garden, you may be overwhelmed by all the options and choices you will need to make. In the first article in the carnivorous garden series, I introduced the idea of starting your own bog garden featuring insectivorous plants. This article will focus on key design tips for this type of garden. Important points to consider include location, size, shape, and any needs of special plants.

The location of your carnivorous garden will likely be one of the most important decisions you make. This type of garden can either blend in with the rest of your landscape, or could be made as an outstanding feature that is intended to attract attention. The choice is really up to you. I really think that if you’re going to the effort to start your own bog garden that people should be able to easily notice it. The carnivorous garden should be located in a spot that receives full sun for at least 5 – 6 hours per day. Other than these factors, you can really choose any location you desire! Your final chosen spot will determine the potential shapes and sizes of the plot.

The size and shape of your first carnivorous garden are two factors that are not too difficult to decide upon. The important point to remember here is that once your area is finally prepped and planted, large changes to the shape or size aren’t easily rectified (without buying a few new materials). I would consider an area of perhaps 8 feet by 12 feet large enough to showcase a nice variety of carnivorous plants, but you can easily choose a smaller garden size if you won’t have enough plants to fill this size. Some optional shapes include a square, rectangle, or triangle. I also like gardens that are kidney bean shaped.

TIP: Buy your Carnivorous Plants early so they arrive when you want to plant them.

If you plan to be growing carnivorous plants with special needs in your garden, you should try to consider these requirements in the planning stages so you aren’t disappointed later on. As an example, darlingtonia (pitcher plants) require cool root systems. One way to provide this is to design the garden with a deep, narrow pool incorporated into the plot. The deep column of water will resist solar heating (especially if there are floating plants covering the surface). Then, a smaller part of the carnivorous garden can be sectioned off, raised, and have this water pumped to the pitcher plant located there, thus supplying their specific needs.

If you do your research and planning first, you will significantly decrease the overall amount of work needed to pull off a great carnivorous garden. The next step in the process is to build the garden from scratch. This requires a bit of manual labour, but the work is definitely rewarding in the end. If you are ready to learn, I invite you to follow the link to learn how to build a carnivorous garden.

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