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Amphibian-friendly gardens

froggy

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If you have an area of your garden that you have made/kept amphibian-friendly, post a picture or a description here.

I've got a couple of ponds with various types of aquatic vegetation and margins along borders to provide safe entry/exit from the water. I also have a hibernaculum, consisting of a trench backfilled with a jumble of rocks, logs and vegetation in a dryish area of the garden to provide frost-free winter quarters for amphibs in the garden.
 

Mark

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My garden is postage stamp sized and situated right in the city. It has quite a healthy population of amphibians for such a tiny urban space. Goodness knows where they all hide. I had a small wildlife pond but it turned into a swamp so I’ve replaced it with a raised brick corner pond – it’s about 3ft deep. There are two ramps you can’t see at the rear of the pond to allow newts in. The frogs don’t bother with them, they just hop in and out. The pond is full of elodea. The frogs tend to hang out amongst the irises and juncus but I think they’d prefer more cover from pesky photographers. Species present - Lissotriton vulgaris & Rana temporaria. Just shows what you can achieve even in a small city garden.

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freves

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I have a small wooded area under a tree in the backyard. For years it has sustained a population of P. cinerius. There was some dwarf bamboo that was growing there for years and it eventually started to take over. This past spring I claened most of it out (this is still an ongoing battle) and planted some ostrich ferns and other woodland plants. I also added a rock pile and some logs. I have not had time to look for the redbacks lately but I am sure that they are still there. Adjacent to this area is a small carnivorous plant bog garden bordered by rocks. Last summer I saw a toad hanging out in that area as well.
Chip
 

ajc

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I just made another log pile (logs rescued from a neighborhood skip) - that's three now, plus the "rockery" (broken concrete paving slabs, also from skips - looks great now it's completely covered in ivy). All are great hibernacula and good refuges when it get hot as at present. Now that's what I call low maintenance gardening ;-)
 

froggy

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Its amazing what one can acheive for amphibians in only a small space, and how aesthetically nice it can be as well - a lot of people i know think that wildlife garden = mess/excuse for doing no work in it, and for some reason I can't understand believe that perfectly regimented beds of marigolds are more appealing! Both my neighbours have already offered me fish for my pond too!
I am now scrounging various rocks from friends' gardens to build a rockery behind one pond, and yesterday constructed a small marginal pool with the spare liner from the latest pond.
 

Otterwoman

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AJC (you're Alan, right?) and Froggy, I would love to see pics of these rockeries. I love a low maintenance idea. I have an area in the backyard that not only holds my compost buckets, but I think is a good place for snakes and other creatures to hibernate. I have many Garter snakes and Dekay's snakes in my yard. I put wood pallets level (though they're not so level anymore!) and stuffed them with newspaper and grass clippings and store my compost buckets on top.

Here, I added a picture of it:
 

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froggy

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I haven't got a photo, but the hibernaculum rockpile is basically rocks, stones, paving slabs and rocks thrown into a hole, and then piled up above ground level, then covered over with composting leaves and reeds pulled out of my pond (they thatch the top and stop the soil and compost from filling all the gaps, as well as keeping the moisture in). At some point, I'm going to plant some creepers on it to make it a litle less of an eyesore. Its hidden behind my outdoors salamandra enclosure, but its could do with some plant cover still.
The hibernaculum/compost-bin storage sounds good; hopefully the herps will use it.
 
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  • PvH:
    I've advertised my CB alpine newts for sale UK but no offers so far. I'm looking for a carer/enthusiast so I put a price to deter people who might not be serious about the responsibilities of the undertaking but how do I find a genuine enthusiast who will take over care? I'm not looking for money, just a good home for the newts.
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  • FragileCorpse:
    Hey guys, its way too hot where I live right now. Temperatures 40 degree celcius outside, making it like 30 degrees inside. Ive got ice packs on my yellow spotted salamanders hidey rock, he acts like he hates it though. Am I keeping him too cold? I think my temp gauge might be messed up, or at least in the wrong spot. I put the tank temp gauge in the top left corner of his large tank, where it says its 80 degrees fahrenheit, which I am aware is too hot, which is what makes me put the ice packs on his rock at the bottom of the cage, but the bottom of his cage feels a lot cooler tha 80 degrees. Should I move my temp gauge down to the bottom corner where he hangs out the most? Should I get a soil temperature probe so I can tell what temperature the soil that hes laying on is?
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  • FragileCorpse:
    Because his soil is certainly not 80 degrees fahrenheit, and I dont want to freeze the poor bugger with ice packs if he really doesnt need them. Hes been doing fine, but Im just so stressed because I cant get ANy information on how to handle this little guy. Theyre illegal to keep without a permit, but this one would not have survived without my intervention. So I cant call and ask anyone for help. If theres a betetr site than this one, I sure havent found it. But I never get any replies here. We are all just asking questions and getting none answered basically. Its really frustrating as I just want to help this little dude be happy and healthy. All I can get him to eat is potato bugs as well. I cant find anything else that he will eat. Is that even okay? :/ hes been eating strictly those since may first.
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    Does ANYONE know of a site more active than this where I can get my questions answered? My little bud needs help and Im just not getting it here.
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    Alright well I bought a bunch of stuff for his tank and hope it helps. Im getting extremelty frustrated that bI cant get an answer. Guess buddies just gonna have to die or some shit. like wtf why cant I get any help.
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  • Captive Bread:
    I'm afraid this is the largest and most active community for this kind of information, probably on the entire internet. That said, we are still small overall. We can't help you all of the time. We do offer you support and have answered your questions in the past so I feel it's very impolite to lose patience with us.
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  • Captive Bread:
    Second of all, was you who said you wild caught your salamander? And had Authorities threaten to retrieve it from you?
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  • Captive Bread:
    Third of all, assuming thats the case, no one seems to want to face the reality that these animals come from climates and microenvironments where they need to be kept cool. If you can't hack, then release it where you pulled it from.
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  • FragileCorpse:
    he was dying outside. SO SORRY i was nice enough to save him. can i even release him in wetaher thats 40 degree celcius? will he not just die outside because he cant dig through the hard ground?
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  • FragileCorpse:
    The ONLY reason I spent 500 dollars on this thing was to keep him alive. thats IT. He was completely dry with cracked skin and couldnt walk and I nursed him back to health. Now I should just throw him outside on the hard baked ground where I found him? in my driveway? Really dude?
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  • FragileCorpse:
    I am losing patienc ebecause I care. Because I cant get any answers in any length of time that will actually benefit him. He'll only eat potato bugs, I just want him to have good rest of his life. Thats IT. So dont act like I went out an dillegally trapped some poor salamander out of the wild for fun cuz I wanted one.
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  • FragileCorpse:
    I am very sure he was just trying to pass by, because he certainly cant dig ANYWHERE in the soil ANYWHERE near where I live. So I cannot just release him in 40 degree celcius on the super hard baked ground where theres no shelter and no food and now ater to be seen for miles. I dont see how that wioll help him at all.
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    @FragileCorpse, Watch your language please.
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  • FragileCorpse:
    What did I say sorry? What word?
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    Sorry youre going to have to explain to me john becaue Ive reread what I wrote here and Im not seeing it,
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    Ill certainly apologize for using it, but to not use it I need to know what it is is all.
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    FragileCorpse: Ill certainly apologize for using it, but to not use it I need to know what it is is all. +1
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