The Wetlands of Distant Hill
“Hope and the future for me are not in lawns and cultivated fields, not in towns and cities, but in the impervious and quaking swamps.”
We have a diversity of wetlands at Distant Hill Gardens including a floating bog, a red maple swamp, a small black ash swamp and numerous vernal pools.
Wetlands are defined as land area that are saturated with water, either permanently or seasonally. This gives rise to characteristic vegetation that is adapted to unique oxygen starved soil conditions. Wetlands are usually classified, according to soil and plant life that grow in them.
The Types of Wetlands at Distant Hill
- Marsh - a wetland dominated by grasses, rushes and reeds.
- Swamp - a wetland that is dominated by trees.
- Bog - a wetland that has accumulated deposits of peat dominated by Sphagnum moss, and heaths - pH<5
- Fen - a wetland with peaty but alkaline conditions dominated by grasslike plants, grasses, sedges, and reeds -pH>5
- Vernal Pool - a temporary pools of water usually devoid of fish which allow the safe development of natal amphibian and insect species
The two acre wetland at Distant Hill Gardens, once a swimming pond years ago, is slowly becoming a floating bog. When we first moved to Distant Hill in 1979, it was almost all open water. The vegetation has slowly started to take over, with more than half of the water now containing a floating bog. Bogs are usually dominated by sedges and shrubs, along with abundant acid loving mosses in the genus Sphagnum, which are all found in our wetland. It also supports native cranberries, which also like acidic conditions.