Botanic Gardens Trust, Sydney, Australia


Bog Garden

The Blue Mountains Botanic Garden's Bog Garden showcases a special type of wetland habitat - the hanging swamp. Hanging swamps form on hillsides and cliff edges in depressions with poor drainage. Water seeping through the ground is caught in layers of sandstone and shale, creating damp conditions suitable for ferns and mosses, which in turn trap sediment and leaves to create a rich wetland ecosystem.

Plan of the Bog Garden

Plan of Bog Garden  Click on image to enlarge

Section through the Bog Garden 

  Section sthrough Bog Garden  Click on image to enlarge

Wetlands all over the world are under threat due to land clearing. Yet they are extremely valuable - in wet periods they soak up water like sponges, providing essential buffer zones that protect downstream areas during floods and droughts. They also filter the water as it makes its way via creeks and rivers into city water supplies.

In the Blue Mountains, hanging swamps occur between Springwood, Mt Victoria and Mt Wilson. Our ‘Bog Team’ has created this garden so that you can see some of the plants adapted to hanging swamps without damaging their precious, fragile natural habitats.

The Bog Garden is a ‘peat free zone’, and the team has used environmentally sustainable coconut coir fibre instead of peat, mixed with washed river sand. In constructing the Bog Garden our team removed about a hundred tonnes of soil. Then they added layers of washed river sand, geofabric, butyl liner and more geofabric to build up a compacted base that would retain filtered water in the area. Licensed staff from the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden collected small amounts of authentic plant material from Dean’s Swamp to provide stock for propagating plants for the Bog Garden.

The Bog Garden contains some rare and endangered Blue Mountains plants, as well as various interesting orchids and carnivorous plants from Australia and overseas. 


Construction of the Bog Garden

Blue Mountains hanging swamp

Mount Tomah staff
Mount Tomah staff in the field

Dean's Swamp
Dean's Swamp

Bog plants

pitcher plant
Pitcher plant, photo Jaime Plaza

Venus flytrap
Venus flytrap, photo Greg Bourke

wetland orchid
Wetland orchid, photo Jaime Plaza

Nostoc, photo Stephen Skinner

Sundew bug
Sundew bug, photo Greg Bourke 

sphagnum moss
Sphagnum moss


coir products
Environmentally friendly coir products - alternatives to sphagnum and peat


Disa uniflora
Disa uniflora, photo Kevin Western