The Cranberry Bog at Distant Hill

 "Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads.”

Henry David Thoreau

The "Bog" at Distant Hill is really a combination of wetland types - bog, fen, swamp, and marsh.
The "Bog" at Distant Hill is really a combination of wetland types.

We call this wetland at Distant Hill Gardens a Cranberry "Bog", but it is technically a semi-rich fen with a much more diverse list of plant species than a bog. It supports plants like the tiny carnivorous Round-leaved Sundew, the beautiful Marsh St. John's Wort, Tawny Cotton Grass, and Large Cranberry.


You can access the quaking Cranberry Bog by way of a short plank boardwalk winding its way across the floating spagnum moss.
You can access the 'Cranberry Bog' by way of a short boardwalk.

The various types of wetlands are each defined by the plants that grow in them. Marshes are nutrient-rich wetlands that support a variety of reeds and grasses, while swamps are defined by their ability to support woody plants and trees. Bogs are characterized by their poor soil and high peat content and acidity levels with a pH of 4.0 or below, while fens have less peat and more plant species than a bog and a pH above 4.0.


The highlight of the fen's flora are the Rose Pogonia Orchids growing in the most nutrient-rich section of the fen.
The highlight of the fen's flora are the Rose Pogonia Orchids.

The highlight of our fen's flora are the Rose Pogonia Orchids growing in the more nutrient-rich section of the fen. They bloom at the end of June into early July. They are often hard to view up close due to the difficulty in accessing the  wetlands in which they are found. The boardwalk makes up-close viewing possible. 

A White Water Lily flower (Nymphaea odorata), also called Fragrant Water Lily.
A White Water Lily flower (Nymphaea odorata), also called Fragrant Water Lily.