The Stopwatch Gardener

A gardening blog from Sheila M. Averbuch

Conquering the fear of frogs


A couple years ago, I found myself screaming if I uncovered a frog in the garden — it was just the suddenness and mouselike look of their movement that startled me. I got over it by figuring out where they might like to hide, and preparing myself whenever I approached. It worked! Now I love my frogs: last year we built a little pond for them and our local newt, but it’s in a sunken part of the garden inaccessible to many of our plants, so I collect slugs from where I don’t want them and deliver them poolside. The frogs don’t hop off when I approach, but I’ve discovered that the slugs do have to be the right size, or frog struggles to cope, as you’ll see here:

posted under Gardening
11 Comments to

“Conquering the fear of frogs”

  1. On April 25th, 2011 at 8:39 am KB Says:

    What happened next? Did the frog get the slug in the end or did you find a smaller slug for it? I almost wish I had slugs now so I could try it with my frogs! Thanks for sharing. Genius x

  2. On April 25th, 2011 at 8:40 am KB Says:

    PS I love the soundtrack, especially the dog 😉

  3. On April 25th, 2011 at 8:49 am Janet Says:

    I like frogs and lizards. fascinating creatures. I thought the frog was going to get the slug. Big disappointment!

    I really like the way your site is set out. It’s so different to everyone else’s. I’ve just noticed that you’re just down the road in my home city.

    Happy gardening (and blogging)

  4. On April 25th, 2011 at 9:01 am The StopWatch Gardener Says:

    Thanks Kate — it was just too big for him, so I’ve learned my lesson about which sizes he can cope with. The slug got away and hid underneath the primula florinda which didn’t have any holes this morning, so I guess it’s not tasty to the gray slug. This frog likes the tiny black slugs, so I’m focusing on those now, and two I put out for him this morning had disappeared when I came back. I started feeding him partly because I needed to get rid of slugs, but partly also because he was looking very bony and skinny after the winter, and he looks a lot better now.

    By the way, HOW can you not have any slugs in your garden? Incredible.

  5. On April 25th, 2011 at 9:03 am The StopWatch Gardener Says:

    Hi Janet, thank you for the kind comments about the blog. I just got my mailer in the post for Gardening Scotland — will you be going? I really hate the price tag but it’s a great chance to get out and about. One thing I am going to this weekend is the Kevock nursery opening in Midlothian; I believe Stella is quite a character and has an amazing collection!

  6. On April 28th, 2011 at 10:53 pm Janet Says:

    I went to gardening Scotland last year but I’m not sure about this time. I’ve already been on a plant binge up in Inverness. I’m also involved in the Scotland Open Gardens in Angus. Our gardens in Montrose and Hillside are opening for the first time on July 3rd so it;’s going to be a busy time. Hope you’ll manage to visit.

  7. On April 29th, 2011 at 3:04 pm Christine Says:

    I think it’s wonderful that you’re feeding your slugs to your frog! I don’t think we have frogs in our garden but I was once very surprised by a frog in the church garden – or maybe it was a toad? I don’t know the difference! I was surprised to see it, as there’s no pool there.
    Re. Scotland’s Open Gardens, I am hoping to get out to at least one or two this summer. I love reading through the “yellow book”.

  8. On April 29th, 2011 at 4:25 pm The StopWatch Gardener Says:

    Oh Christine I can’t see the frog anymore! I think the small one is still at the pond, but he disappears whenever I go close; the friendly one has moved off, but I don’t know where. Frogs and toads both have that surprise factor that you describe; the instinct we have is to find them repugnant when we first see them, but ever since I first read about how they are slug-eating machines, they’re my new best friends.

  9. On May 1st, 2011 at 6:48 pm jigbean Says:

    Hi there,

    Came across the blog a while back but don’t think I ever got around to posting to say hello. So hello and greetings from Dusseldorf from an ex-tenant. I have no garden here unfortunately, not even a balcony for a few pots but I did find an organic garden run by the local community college and go there to help out for a few hours most weekends. There’s no gorse anywhere near here though – I do miss that gorgeous smell 🙂


  10. On May 6th, 2011 at 11:33 am The StopWatch Gardener Says:

    Jean it’s wonderful to hear from you! It’s super that you are still able to be involved in the garden even if your outside space isn’t suitable for it. I was just on a gardening message board last night for the BBC and advising someone to plant gorse, as they have a low wall which is next to a bus stop and everybody keeps sitting on it. I’m based in Edinburgh now but keep going back to the house to check everything is well. It really is super to hear from you; I hope all is well.

  11. On May 6th, 2011 at 12:10 pm KB Says:

    I don’t have slugs because:

    a) I live in the dry dry dry south-east
    b) The garden is only 18 months old. Before that it was paved, so slugs have only had a short time to find the garden
    c) The frogs were here before the garden (I brought them with me), so no slug, vine weevil, fly etc has had a chance. in fact, I worry that there isn’t enough food for them, so by all means, send me your slugs!!

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