How To Make a Frog House

Frog houses are a great idea. They snuggle into a cool corner of your garden and give your frogs somewhere to hide from the cats and cool off when they are not in the water. Frogs are important in the garden as they gobble up that nasty mosquito larvae. So if you have water you need frogs. How to make a frog house!? Drive around on the ride-on mower with the flames painted on the side, and yawn at the same time as you take a tight corner, then smash into a terra cotta pot housing your most precious Polyanthus Tuberosa Tubers that look like bulbs. That is Step number One.

Because the best Frog Houses are made of junk and broken pots.  I repotted the Polyanthus Tuberosa ( I like to say Polyanthus Tuberosa because is sounds so intelligent when you say it out loud and it is the kind of word that rolls about your mouth!), using some of the smaller pieces of terracotta in the bottom of the new pot for drainage.   Then I took the big curved broken  pieces and added another broken pot that had been waiting for just such an occassion, and made a dark damp hide away for frogs.   I tucked it in beside the wine cask that sits under a down pipe, where a frog lives every year. The cats hate my frog houses. 

When we were kids at the beach in NZ, we used to fill the inside of an old tire with water and almost always a frog would take up residence. Then you make the frog house inside the tire. Not as pretty but still fun for children.

Now look who we have here. This little chick has two mothers. I am not sure how this happened but yesterday I saw both chooks fly at and run off a bemused pea hen, then zoom clucking with indignation, back to this one little chick. I guess it is some kind of shared parenting.  I would like to think it is the chicken TonTon retrieved but I don’t think it is. I think that one fell through the cracks in time. This might be his sister though. 

And here is our wee Stinky the Second. The chick recovering from a hawk attack. She has these two massive wounds on either side of her body but they have dried up and no longer smell. Yesterday I let her back in with her sisters.  And they accepted her without fuss. Her ability to get about is improving too.  There are plans afoot to make a mobile run for them. So they are hanging out in a makeshift run on the lawn. 

I call her Stinky the Second because the first Stinky was the first chick that I nursed back to health after a rat gnawed at her head.    This was before I got  cats and guineas for the barn and a rooster for the hen house.  They keep the rodent population in check.  Stinky lived for years but had a tendency to walk in circles. 

Now you are never going to guess what these seedlings are. Wait, I will find you the link.  OK.  Remember when we collected the hedge apples in the fall and stored them in a bucket outside all winter.  Well, earlier in the spring we took the pongy mess down the back and poured it along some shallow trenches. I did not blog that step because frankly it looked like grey vomit and I could not see how any seed could be viable in that mess. However much to my surprise the seeds are sprouting. We are growing a hedge!  A very old fashioned hedge! Oh me of little faith!!

Good morning.  We had some rain in the night which was very welcome after such a hot day yesterday. It looks like today will be much cooler but sunny. The plants will have a wonderful stress free growing day today.

There are many new readers to the Kitchens Garden pages  and WELCOME to you all!   I am going to do a walkabout with the camera today and post the shots tomorrow for you. I will put together a page with  introductions and updates for all the animal characters whose stories we follow.  So you will all know who is who.

One thing to remember when you are reading is that I post around dawn every morning and the material is always from the previous day. So everything is absolutely current and from The Kitchens Garden and it’s Farm, unless we have a field trip. I will tell you if I use a shot that is more than 24 hours old, but I very seldom do.

Remind me to call the swine herd again today. I need to find out when we can pick up Sheila The Baby Piglet. I will certainly take you in my camera on that field trip.

Well Minty is calling from her gate. She is being weaned down to two bottles a day and is not taking it well.  I hate the weaning.

Have a lovely day.

celi

75 thoughts

  1. Morning Celia, lovely to see your frog house, our resident toads take up similar habitats in the summer, lovely to have them around. Right, I’m off with the camera and correct lens, the sun is trying oh so hard to come out from behind a sea mist. Hi ho !

  2. Good morning Celia, great to see your splendid frog houses.
    We have our dam located quite close to the house, great to watch all the wildlife close up. However the noise in summer can be a wee bit overwhelming for the visitor who’s not used to hearing the frog cacophony.

  3. Morning, C! I do love being able to start the day with you on the Farmy…
    Good to see Stinky the Second recovering from her trauma. The young ones are so resilient…
    I’m sure “stinky” didn’t begin to describe the state of that Hedge Apple mess when you poured it out – ugh!
    Have a lovely, cooler day. We have fog and rain. Again.

  4. Good Morning…I am halfway through reading everyone of your posts from the begining. So much has been learned, stories have been enjoyed, and recipies tried.
    Smiles abound here at my little place.

  5. I am looking forward to the report of another conversation with the Herford Haaahg farmer, and even more to the day you collect Sheila in your short skirt and stilleto heels :) So glad Stinky2 is recovering so well, and I’m off to build a frog house with a pot a boisterous weimaraner knocked off a table …. should do the job? Laura

  6. Well, if shared parenting is good enough for our muscovies, then I don’t see why hens can’t try it! That’s going to be one spoiled Chick with two doting mothers!
    Christine

    • I thought about your ducks when i saw this. They both cuddle down to sit on the chick and often I will see it pop its head up between them. most unusual.. c

  7. Lovely post – I had to go back and read about the start of the hedge apple saga, and enjoyed it very much. I think I have an accidental frog house behind the hedge: the pile of bits of pot waiting to be used as planter drainage! Because we have fierce Dick Tur-a-pin in the pond, I haven’t found any frogs there yet.

      • A Florida Red-Eared Slider terrapin – a rescue terrapin given to us by a veterinary neighbours. He is carnivorous. The name is Jock’s idea of a joke (highwayman Dick Turpin may not have percolated South or West – he came to a bad end). When he first came, he was called Lulu.

        • ah, well i can see why LuLu is an incongruous label for this fella.. I think I remember being in a pub in London that bragged about having Dick Turpin as a regular in the old old days? c

  8. G’mornin’, Celi! Well, I learn something new here virtually every day. Now I know how to build a frog house, should I ever need one. Poor little chickster! Good to see she’s coming along.
    “Stinky lived for years but had a tendency to walk in circles.” I know the feeling.

  9. Afternoon – sorry, am catching up! Glad Stinky is doing well, we had a Stinky too (didn´t have such a great name though) and she settled back in the with girls when she was better.

    • I have found that wounded chickens smell very bad.. hence the name Stinky. When that smell goes away then they are healing.. Thankfully this wee girl is healing, morning tanya! c

  10. we have 3 big clusters of eggs in our pond – we aren’t sure if they are spring peepers, frogs, toads or salamanders. whatever they are, i will be sure to have some frog houses all throughout the garden and near the pond. thanks for the reminder!

    your friend,
    kymber

    • I would really like to be able to tell all the frog calls apart, there are so many different ones here but not having grown up with them, I am at a disadvantage.. Morning Kymber our new friend!! c

      • it’s the afternoon now so i will say – good afternoon Celi…it is really nice to be here. i love blogs that are upbeat and happy..and yours certainly is! i am almost finished reading through all of the previous posts and am enjoying myself. your followers and commenters are so nice…it is really nice to be here and among such nice friends. thank you!

        your friend,
        kymber

  11. I am one of the “newbies”! In the one week that I have been following your blog, I have been fed and refreshed. This gal knows absolutely NOTHING about farming, but loves the idea. There is a smile on my face while reading your posts. What a wonderful way to begin a day!

  12. Your post was full of useful information today! I have tried on several occasions to grow the osage orange, and they didn’t even try to cooperate, so I will try your method next year! Oh, and thanks for introducing me to one of the common names for this useful shrub/tree! I do prefer “Hedge Apple.” ~ Lynda

  13. I love the frog houses, Celi, and would love to introduce some froggies to my garden stream. I’ve tried, but they disappear and I am not sure we have the best conditions. We do have mosquito fish and that helps. I also wanted to comment on how glad I am that Stinky the Second is getting along well. What a harrowing experience for everyone. Good morning to you, too, Celi. My day starts out so warmly when I can pop in on the farmy early:-) Debra

  14. Happy Monday morning!I find myself in need of a little frog house..yesterday, we save a tiny tree from from the coping along the pool( chlorine would not be his friend) After climbing up my sister’s head, and hopping on a very surprised Lexi’s head..we transplanted him to a nearby birch tree. A terracotta home would have been better.
    J

  15. Frog houses, what a wonderful idea! I’m going to print this right now and put it in my “to-do” binder that I’ve created for the big move so I don’t forget about it. The houses and land we’ve been looking at have lots of trees so it should be more than moist enough to attract a few frogs.

    “Stinky lived for years but had a tendency to walk in circles.” That made me laugh out loud. :)

    Have a great day! ~ April

  16. How very interesting.
    I found this

    “It was once thought that placing an Osage orange under the bed would repel spiders and insects. This practice has declined with the rise of synthetic insecticides. However, scientific studies have found that extracts of Osage orange do repel several insect species, in some studies just as well as the widely-used synthetic insecticide DEET.[4]” on Wiki
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maclura_pomifera

    along with other interesting info!

  17. That is very cool, I like your first step very much … but how frustrating! I wouldn’t be trusted with one of those ride-on mowers that’s for sure! Poor wee Stinky. I wonder how co-parenting works, any arguments yet? Have a great day. :)

  18. We on the west coast can have salamanders in our gardens. My 4 urban chickens love to eat them, needless to say. To make salamander houses, wet the ground and put a heavy-ish board or shingle down in a shady place. You can also put a heavy pot down, but boards are best. The salamanders collect under there, safe from chickens. They’re nocturnal so they come out when the chickens are asleep. You can lift the board and see who’s at home! Great frog houses!

  19. A frog house is a wonderful idea my friend – and you show it to be a simple enough structure to place :)
    Because of our pool we often get frogs too ;)

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

  20. Wonderful frog house! I can see why the cats would not like it. That’s how I put some of my old crockery to use. Glad to see Stinky the Second is doing well, and can’t wait to see that hedge as it comes (grows) along. :)

  21. Where do you find the time and energy to do sooooo much? Just reading your post is making me tired, I need to go take a nap.
    I should think about building frog houses for my froggies (they are not real)!
    Glad ‘stinky the 2nd’ is doing well.

  22. Great frog house. I’ll remember to keep the broken terracotta pots. Because we aren’t there all the time, our resident frogs seem to think the house is theirs’ & we just visit. Favourite sub-let frog house of all time has been my old leather gardening joggers hung up high to dry out on a hook. Things are bad when you need to find different shoes so you don’t disturb the sleeping frog.

  23. Maybe that’s why I’m not allowed to mow the grass, you and I got our mowing lessons from the same place, apparently. I’m glad the little chick is doing better! It wasn’t funny, but I had to chuckle anyway at the one that walked around in circles. Oh my! Who knew such things happened to chicks? You are getting quite an education. :)

  24. Just showed hubby your frog house, we have a large pond a the bottom of the garden that was dug in specially for frogs. We have cats too though so half the pond is fenced and cat proofed but I am sure I will see hubby making frog houses over the next few days

  25. Glad to see Stinky the Second is improving steadily; things are looking up for her with your TLC, but that is no surprise, given the care they get from you.
    Great news about the hedge – what a surprise; oh ye of little faith!

  26. I shall certainly try my hand at frog house construction!

    And I am elated at what pretty sprouts your Grey Vomit produced!!!! That will be a magnificent wind break, that hedgerow of yours, and showy too–I love how the trees look like they’re full of giant Granny Smith apples when in full fruit.

  27. Pingback: Seamyst weimaraners | Bloomdigit

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