As a visitor wanders down the stone paths in this garden they are greeted by the splash of fleeing frogs into the stream and shady ponds. In the water, perched on a lily pad or mossy stone they are less fearful. Here, they are comfortable enough to pose for photos.
Of six ponds in the garden the largest, the swimming pond, has the fewest frogs. Why, I can’t explain, but then it hosts much other wildlife.
Twelve koi and two goldfish multiplied to several dozen in the Spring, joining dragonflies, water skimmers, a red eared turtle who visited for several weeks, an occasional small snake, and a groundhog who lived under the nearby shed for years but has since departed. But few frogs.
While other parts of the garden are more than twenty years old, the swimming pond was constructed only three years ago, so the plantings in this area haven’t yet overgrown into a jungle. Another year should do it.
In late August there are many flowers blooming in the pond, tucked between rocks in the shallows, and tumbling over the pond’s edge. In the swimming pond a shallow area five by twenty feet is heavily planted with perennials and tropicals to assist with filtration.
Elephant ears (Colocasia thrive in shallow water, Alocasia prefer damp only. Above the flower of Colocasia “Illustris’), papyrus, bananas, and cannas (Canna ‘Wyoming’ below) have been slow to develop with the cool early Summer, and are unlikely to reach the height of previous years.
In the boggy space between two partially submerged granite boulders a red pitcher plant (Sarracenia, below) is almost hidden.
Nearby, Sweetflag and Japanese iris, a dwarf lotus that has been reluctant to grow thus far, floating heart, water lilies, and variegated cattail provide plenty of cover. Ready for frogs to move in.