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Frogs


by Richard Jones

Frogs always cause a hullabaloo in our garden and this one was soon surrounded by curious children, wondering where it had come from, and what they were to do about it.


Buster the guinea-pig staring out of his hutch at a frogMaybe the frog knew it was going to rain. Maybe the persistent dry heat had finally driven it from its slowly desiccating shelter in a desperate attempt to find moisture elsewhere. Maybe I'd disturbed it from the long grass as I pegged out the washing. Whatever, suddenly there it was, hopping sedately up the lawn.

Frogs always cause a hullabaloo in our garden and this one was soon surrounded by curious children, wondering where it had come from, and what they were to do about it. Leave it alone, I stressed. So long as the cats did not see it, it would find its own way back to some suitable shelter.

Despite our pond housing a successful smooth newt colony, we have never had frogs breeding in it. They do climb into the water, and one year we had a ragged ball of spawn, but it quickly disintegrated into an opaque white mess, and no tadpoles ever resulted. We often see frogs of various sizes, under flower pots, behind the compost bins, or hopping about in the more unkempt bits of the flower beds, so they must be breeding somewhere close by.

It slowly made its way up the garden, and eventually disappeared under the dahlias. It did, however, stop briefly by Buster, peaking out of the guinea-pig run, and gave us the perfect opportunity for the Gardeners' World blog wildlife caption competition. How about...

Buster: "Get me out of here."

Frog: "No, let me in, there are cats out here."

What do you think?



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Talkback: Frogs
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Gardeners' World Web User 21/07/2010 at 17:42

this is a strange quesstion but where does alice get her lovely clothes from.I am a lady gardener i think alice is a breath of fresh air to ladies who dont want to go down the grunge route.

Gardeners' World Web User 21/07/2010 at 19:19

I heard the characteristic squealing of a frog the other day - familiar from the many occasions our cat (now dead, alas) used to catch them. When I went to investigate I discovered, just outside the kitchen door a grass snake, which had caught the frog by the leg. The frog, understandably, was trying desperately to hop away, flapping the snake behind it as it went. By the time I had gone back to get my camera the frog had escaped, but I did get a picture of the snake, which seemed somewhat stunned by all this...

Gardeners' World Web User 21/07/2010 at 21:48

We had Grey Tree Frogs spawn in our Water Butt this year. We decided to let them stay and have been feeding and protecting them, in-situ. We have a ton of baby frogs all over the place now. I've posted a video on Yahoo Video - search for "Tadpoles" and you should be able to find it. Very cute and very rewarding when one hops onto your hand and isn't afraid of you :) And Mere - I always sort of thought she got her clothes from the second hand vintage shops. Don't really care for her - I miss Sarah Raven...

Gardeners' World Web User 22/07/2010 at 16:18

Any idea why an acer palmatum atropurpureum should have leaves which are coming out green and what I should do about it? Very grateful for any advice.

Gardeners' World Web User 22/07/2010 at 18:50

If the leaves are in the shade, they will be green. If you look at any red leaved maple, 'Garnet' is a good example, the leaves come through a darkish shade of green then progressively get redder the more sunlight they get. Then again, is it grafted onto a different rootstock?, if it is, and the green leaves are below the graft, pinch out, or cut off the growth as it will be the rootstock trying to grow. If that happens, usually you end up losing the top bit to the original rootstock.

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