A recipe for wildlife-friendly gardens


A frog friendly pond or bog of unpolluted water


Robyn Curtis

Having achieved the basic bones of a wildlife garden with plantings, Jim is now interested in developing a more complex ecosystem.

Quick to see opportunities and projects, he has already successfully attracted Eastern Rosellas to new nesting boxes that he made and installed. Within a week of installing one, a pair of Eastern Rosellas moved in. A few months later, two healthy chicks were fully fledged and flew off.

On the back of this success, Jim is ready for the next habitat-creating project, a frog pond. It will be quite a project, so he is taking his time to research and investigate the needs of local frogs and the technical aspects of creating a healthy microenvironment for them.

The main element Jim is considering is the siting. This will involve creating an area that is not in full sun or full shade and has small native ground cover plants close to the pond, with larger plants and trees further away. He has a natural hollow that has potential to become the new site, with groundcover plants establishing.

Jim said that ‘frogs also don’t need to be in water all the time but need shelter and cover preferably near their water. Rocks, logs, leaf litter and small native plants are ideal, and a pond needs shallow walls so frogs can easily get in and out. Ideally the base of the pond should be washed sand or gravel.’

Jim is considering two options for making a pond. One is to buy a preformed fibreglass mould which you dig into the ground. The other is to dig a hole in the desired shape and depth and line it with pond liner. This second option allows more scope to create exactly what you want but requires more work. And for either option, a pump is important to keep water circulating and clean to deter mosquito breeding.

Jim looks forward to achieving another layer of habitat in the garden that will not only attract frogs but also create a water-based ecosystem. Jim said that ‘not only nature benefits because who doesn’t like the calming and soothing effect of water in a garden.’


Eva Mutton

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