Building a Toad Abode
Now my nature pond is close to completion, as I am just waiting for some aerating pond weed to arrive to keep it healthy. My thoughts have again turned to the wild life I am trying to attract. So my next job was to create a Toad abode! But actually frogs are also welcome. I am building this just a hop and a “hop” from the pond to make life easy for any visitors. I’m hoping that this will not only attract frogs and toads but also another amphibian friend, the newt! Newts lay their eggs on the underside of pond weed leaves, so I’m making sure I use different types of weeds in my pond, doing my best to create a five star resort! To begin constructing this project firstly I dug a hole, carefully keeping the lumps of soil to one side. It was about 25- 30 cm deep and I made a gentle slope into it from where the entrance will be. The next step was to go off for a walk with the dogs and an empty compost bag and start to collect sticks, logs and twigs to build the next layer.
Carefully layering the wood across the hole. I placed the thickest pieces first as I tried to create spaces for frogs, toads etc to climb under. Then I used smaller twigs and branches for the final layer. I wanted to top it with the clumps of Earth I had dug out so I used the smaller sticks to fill in any large gaps, a bit like roof trusses so the Earth wouldn't fall through. Then finally I put the large lumps of Earth, grass and moss on the top. It reminded me a little of a teletubby house. I watered it well as I am hoping the grass and moss will begin to grow again and the roots will strengthen the house. I am close to finishing my nature area now. My last job will be to sprinkle wildflower seeds around and then step back and let Mother Nature do the rest.
Although the area I have used is really quite small, I am hoping it will attract lots of creatures. You don’t have to have a big garden to do this type of thing. Just giving a small area back to nature can be really beneficial, not just to frogs, toads and wildlife etc, but to you as a gardener as they will hopefully be your natural pest control. I am hopeful for visitors to my pond and toad abode, so will keep you posted as to what happens!