Thursday, 15 April 2010

Back to nature

The Smalls are very keen on bringing wildlife into our garden - which suits me fine as apparently wildlife friendly = very untidy. Or so I thought until we visited the glorious Standen (more on this another time - if you have even the faintest interest in the Arts & Crafts Movement you simply HAVE to visit). Tucked in various locations around the gardens we found their palatial, and really very tidy, bug hotels. We will be making one of these but I don't think ours will be nearly so pretty ...


Anyway, last year we decided that we needed a little pond. In previous years we have had large populations of baby froglets hatching from spawn laid in abandoned rainwater filled seed trays, and we thought it might be kind to give them a proper place. Space is at a premium here, plus we do have a lot of small visitors so a big pond was out of the question. But we did have room for a washing up bowl sunk into the ground and filled with a couple of water clearing aquatic plants.


It's not the prettiest creation, and it has become the resting place for various bits of broken pots, but if you peep underneath the largest one, you can see someone seems to like it.


This chap had a friend with him the other day, who I've since encountered wandering around the garden. Might we have some tadpoles later on?????


Edited to add: Zoe from Scented Sweetpeas has a far prettier tiny pond and instructions on how to make it too!

31 comments:

  1. Why have I never heard of Standen? I love the Arts & Crafts Movement!

    And G is very keen to set up a pond on the allotment. Lots of our fellow plotholders have them now. In the meantime, he's been rescuing frogs and toads from our downstairs car park. I'm still trying to get a good picture of one for the blog... K x

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  2. Standen is wonderful, I loved it there! Your pond is a great idea, frogs love slugs so you should have a bumper harvest later in the year.

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  3. Your pond is perfect! We have a pond at the allotment but sadly no froggies have left us any frogspawn although they have in neigbouring ponds :o( Maybe our des-res isn't des enough for them?

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  4. How cool! I love that!

    Sometime last Autumn I was in Boots in Kilkenny and there was a frog or maybe a toad hopping around the make up counter. A very unfriendly lady was trying to kick it out the door towards the main road! So I caught him and took him back to work - very lucky my office had a bathroom - so I put a bit of water in the bath and left him in it until home time. The kids then released him into our tiny bin-lid pond. Unfortunately we've never seen him again :'-(

    Ah well, maybe we'll extend the pond this year to a washing up bowl. He he.

    Emma xxx

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  5. When the kids were little we used to put a dab of nail varnish on the snail shells so we could chart their progress round the garden.

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  6. your pond is lovely and the bug hotel is amazing!#
    x

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  7. You know what is weird? Every year we get frogs in the garden but ours is the only one in a three house radius that has no pond!

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  8. oh what a great bug hotel! I love frogs, unfortunately our cats love catching them, they don't kill them, they just bring them in the house.......... I lost my best babysitter when the cats brought her a frog as a gift, I came home and she was sitting on the sofa with her feet tucked up under and the frog under the sofa........

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  9. I saw an amazing bug hotel at Syon Park last year and would love to make one in my garden. A pond too! I've often had frogs, and even a newt, in my garden so someone near must have a pond. I'm sure I've got some old bowls lying around...

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  10. Ponds are great for wildlife, I love yours!
    Love
    Lyn
    xxx

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  11. That is a perfect little des res. Croak.

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  12. Loving your idea of a bug hotel and the pond you have. Mine may look pretty but it doesn't have a froggy resident like yours does - how I love frogs and toads.

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  13. Bug hotel? Will you be charging?

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  14. Oh how fun! Your pond is so cute. Although, I'm not sure I'd be a big fan of a bug hotel -- yuck!

    When my boys were small, we lived in a newly built house and frogs had moved into the water-filled ruts formed by all the heavy construction equipment. The day before the landscapers were to come and smooth out the yard to plant grass, we spent hours catching all those little frogs and moving them to the lot next door, so they'd be safe. The goofy little things were all back the next morning. So, we had the landscaper create a little frog pond for us, and wouldn't you know, they didn't like it. Apparently, they're picky!

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  15. Aren't they just the best garden residents? We've obviously done something to upset our frog community as there's been no sign of any of them so far this year.

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  16. My husband is currently investigating ponds for our yard. We won't sink it into the ground due to a plague of toads in our area. They are an introduced species and cause huge environmental damage.

    I'm very pleased that you were able to give a home to more friendly residents.

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  17. I rather like your pond! Think I need to check out Standen

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  18. Oh, don't kids love ponds & frogs -- all the hopping and chasing!? Last summer, when we went tubing on the river, we found dozens and dozens of teensy little fingernail sized frogs. The littles had a blast trying to catch one the lightening fast little things.

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  19. It's lovely. So nice to have a froggy friend in the garden too. A x

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  20. we had a big toad living in our garden... but it had to be relocated due to persisten canine interference with his/her peaceful life.

    The poor thing.

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  21. Just watch out... before too long you will be over run by frogspawn (or at least you will if my mum's experimets are anything to go by!)

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  22. Oh, you all have the most fun! And I love your frog. Is it Mr. Jeremy Fisher???

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  23. I love that bug hotel, and I love your pond too! I am sure your kids delight in your garden.

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  24. Brilliant, love the hotel. We're going to make one too - so thank you, for the inspiration...!

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  25. I love your little pond - a really creative little space and it's obviously popular with the visitors. That bug hotel is palatial! Isn't it wonderful with all the little nooks and crannies - I think we'll have to have a go at making one (on a much more modest scale though!) Would love to get together soon - will email you shortly x

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  26. Standen is a bit too far away for me- it would have to be a camping trip- you will have to do us a virtual blog tour - I love arts and crafts movement.
    The pond is lovely- I will be copy-cating as soon as I have a proper garden (by proper I mean back garden and not just a silly front garden) again.
    Jx

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  27. Now, we have lots of frogs but no pond. They climb the bricks of next doors shed and hide under the felt roof!!! And whenever I am faffing around by the pile of old slates they jump out and manage to scare the living daylights out of me. The last one I saw was positively yellow looking. I love 'em. Hope your pond fills up with little hoppers.

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  28. What a fantastic idea to plonk a washing up bowl in the ground. I hope you get some little tadpoles this year.
    Happy spring to you, hasn't the weather been amazing! Perfect for spending hours in the garden :)

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  29. Its not always the building but the hospitality that counts and your visitors obviously feel right at home!

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  30. Its a lovely wildlife motel. I'd love to build one in my garden, but space is short. I have created a wildlife pond though, but unlike you I have not had any green leaping visitors.

    By the way, I absolutely adore your mushroom creations.

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  31. Thanks for this terrific post. I've seen "bug hotels" before, but I have to agree with you, this one is 5 star! Also, I'm crazy about your simple little pond. I've been wanting to do something similar. We have several bird bathes in the yard but no water at ground level. Definitely on the summer "to do" list. Thanks for the inspiration! I'll be posting on Facebook :)

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