Today I spotted my first frog of the season, not in the pond, but deep in a compost bin.
I had been doing some spring tidying: weeding, hacking things back, looking for signs of new growth. I went to deposit some woody prunings in my very long-term woody pruning compost bin – made from an old leaking water barrel. It’s been sitting there for four or five years, not doing very much but today I noticed that it had produced some quite useable compost. I emptied some out and sieved it, producing three bucketfuls of beautiful crumbly stuff.
I’m not sure quite what I’ll use it for. Anyway, while doing this I discovered a huge huddle of snails, clearly enjoying the relative warmth of this space, complete with free buffet of disintegrating vegetation. I also noticed quite a few empty snail shells and wondered if something was eating them. Further into the crumbly compost, I disturbed two medium sized frogs, also enjoying this cosy space, and perhaps, feasting on the snails.
The garden is full of frogs, mostly living in the various unkempt wildlife areas around the edges, and only moving into the pond in the summer when it gets too hot. I don’t think they breed in the pond though. I’ve never seen frogspawn and a frog expert once told me that they would go back to their ‘home’ pond or stretch of water to breed. Though one year they might be ‘too lazy’ and would use my pond instead. I’m still waiting for that day but still enjoying the fact that they appreciate my garden’s more neglected corners.
Back to the gardening and, in a surprise harvest, while tidying up a collapsing raised bed, I found three of last year’s potatoes, apparently still in good shape.
We’ll have them for tea tonight. Meanwhile, this year’s crop has been set to chit, ready for planting out in a few weeks’ time