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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