The Cottage Smallholder


stumbling self sufficiency in a small space

London frogs return each year to breed in our pond

two brave frogsWe might not have bees but we have frogs. Loads of them. These are the descendants of the London frogs that my mum raised in an aquarium in the kitchen, 14 years ago.

If frogs travel away from your garden they will return in the Spring to breed. This is a humdinger of a party. The frog fest in our pond is 24/7. When we open the back door we can hear the low sonorous croaking. This is a constant bass addition to the bird song. Except the birds sleep. The jolly in our pond will continue for at least two weeks. The croaking stops when I walk down the garden as they are shy creatures. I hear a cacophony of plops as they dive under the carpet of frog spawn when I pass by. Within a minute I hear the first brave croak, answered immediately by a chorus. They are just getting into their stride when I return from the chickens. Silence for 30 seconds and then back to their age old theme tune, Amorous Frog.

Toads return each year. With toads it’s a much more genteel affair. These are the quiet guests that retire early to rooms well away from the bar.

When I bought the cottage there were no frogs here. There was one very large elderly toad and a few newts.

I was keen to have frogs in the garden. They are great for slug control and anyway, I like them. So I asked a local child if he knew where I could find frog spawn. He looked morose and shook his head. When I mentioned that the bounty on the head of a bucket of frogspawn was five pounds, he focused immediately on the task in hand.

Within a week I had the frogspawn. The little boy visited relatives in London. Travelling by coach with his mother, they had experienced a rather damp return trip as the bucket sloshed between their feet.

So our frogs are the progeny of city slickers, forced to move to the country. I wonder if, deep down, there is the need for noise, clubbing and bright lights. Albeit once a year.


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4 Comments

  1. joan keeley

    To have frogs in the garden is pleasant. But in the way you got double responsibility to maintain your pond, which can be fulfill with EPDM Pond Liners

  2. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Jeannie

    Thanks for dropping by.

    I do hope that you find some fowl soon. Perhaps it™s a bit early in the year.

    Great that you are enjoying the blog.

  3. Jeannie

    Hi and here is another new reader of your blogs, I just love it! I’m wanting to keep hens/banties and ducks again (after a break of 10 years, out of the country) but can’t find any locally in the Scarborough, North Yorks area. Wondered whether to start from the very begining and buy an incubator and fertile eggs and spend a summer of fingers crossed and hoping for a few hens at the end!? Anyway thanks for great reading, pictures and recipes which I shall be trying!

  4. Frog Guy

    This is my first comment over here. I like this blog a lot. You just got one more loyal reader!

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