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a tight-pruned lime and a small cypress. Nevertheless, the city is splashed all over with natural colour as sills, walls, yards and railings are covered with pots and window boxes.Some buildings in the rickety 'old quarter' are so bedecked they look
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
It was Disturb-an-Amphibian day in my garden on Saturday. First, a toad had settled down under a pile of empty pots in the honest-I'll-get-round-to-sorting-out-that-bit-next part of the garden. I've been getting round to it for several years so
pot just outside the front door had been nibbled. We get lily beetles occasionally but when I bent down to pick up this red insect it turned out to be a striking black and red plant bug and not a beetle at all (see pic). Corizus hyoscyami doesn't have
sunning itself on one of the flower pots just inside the front gate.
The warm humid evenings of late July and early August have brought out the flying ants again. These are the very common black pavement ant, Lasius niger. A few years ago we had a nest in one of our large plant pots and it was amazing to see
squawks. They were oddly silent today - perhaps they'd returned to their nesting roosts off up the hill. The huge holm oak where they often hang out was empty. My host wondered if his neighbour had been taking pot shots at them.Although without a pond
or in the flower pot store. With frogs and newts, that's three amphibians in the garden this year.
great when we'd finished. It was a good work-out too, carrying huge terracotta pots, compost, bricks, stones, logs and plants halfway across Birmingham.It only took half an hour to put everything together, but even before we placed the first log
later in the year.Next we filled in the area around the fibreglass with topsoil, logs, rocks and pot shards to give the pond edges texture, sheltering crevices and support. We landscaped the soil between the liner and sleeper frame, and filled the pond