When I decided to make a little pond for my allotment I never thought for one second that it would be such a success and I am so unbelievably happy with all my new little allotment residents. So far I’ve noticed 8 frogs on the plot, I was moving a pile of pallet slats one day and counted 8 amongst the wooden pile (I felt rather guilty that I had moved their home but I needed to weed!) Today I saw 4 of them in the pond, it looks like I might be swamped with frogs next Spring. Not that I’m complaining at all, it would be so interesting to watch tadpoles grow and the more the merrier, especially if they all eat the slugs!
The area around the pond was originally going to be filled with flowers, I planted a climbing rose and a rose bush next to the shed in the Spring and they have both bloomed extremely well. Around the rest of the pond I sowed a wildflower mix and planted a few self sown flowers. Now the mix was a complete failure, 90% of plants which grew around the pond turned out to be weeds, a few wild flowers appeared but it definately wasn’t how I expected the pond area to look. However, the flowers which I planted there as seedlings were a huge success, they were Verbena, cosmos, scabious, zinnias and calendula. I’m thinking next year I’ll grow more of the same flowers, growing the seedlings at home and planting them out later proved to work quite well, this way I will beable to grow the flowers that I love and any weeds that decide to grow can be picked out straight away because I’ll be able to identify them. Amongst the flowers I have decided to plant a grapevine which will climb up the side of the fruit cage, it’s a red seedless variety called ‘Flame’ and it can grow well outdoors in the South of England if facing the sun. I will plant flowers which are lower in height around the base of the grapevine so that there’s no competition, and then the higher flowers like verbena and cosmos will go around the edge. I just can’t wait to be able to pick my own grapes, even though it will be in a few years time!
Now back to the frogs, earlier on I said I felt guilty about destroying the frogs ground cover. They loved to hide in the weeds and amongst the flowers and they particularly enjoyed finding cover under a calendula that had spread over the waters edge, even though it was dead. So off I went to create a special little house for my allotment frogs. This simply consisted of a log pile made from off cuts of my hazel archway, and a cracked terracotta pot turned upside down. And of course I needed to make a little sign for their new home! I really hope they like it, and next year I’ll be sowing lots of flowers around the pond for them to enjoy too.