I mentioned a toad abode in my Saturday post about the sunflowers blooming in my small in width, but very tall garden! Yes, my garden is probably taller than it is wide at the moment. The sunflowers have reached the eaves and working towards being eye to eye with the chimney. Getting back to the toad abode…Robin of Life in Robin's Nest fame inquired about how to make a toad abode, so just in case there are others wanting an answer to this question, here it is…how to make a toad abode.
Let me start by mentioning my fondness for toads in the garden. Not only do I think a garden lucky if a toad chooses to reside within it, but I believe it’s truly blessed to count among the inhabitants, the humble songster who sings for his supper, a toad. I have tales of toads from gardens past, but none of them came close to the joy I felt while grilling a marinated chicken breast or three. We spied him hopping along the side of the house, the yet-to-be whacked grass creating a cover. He liked to linger about the water spigot, but seemed to return to the side of the house where the garden is. One evening, with three lazy black cats lounging in the grass and three humans sipping on a cool beverage, the toad hopped across the patio. Mr. Noodle, his hunting prowess too often evident in the gifts he bestows upon us, was the first to spy the little green guy. With a leap he sprang into inquisitive mode at the same time the sleek, black body of Miss Adventure hunched down into a predatory stance, while Anime the beautiful fraidy cat, looked on feigning an aloof posture, but ever so curious. We jumped into protective mode, grabbing cats and putting them indoors before one grabbed the toad and sent it flying into the air, a toy to be pawed, chased, and bitten. That was that, a toad must have a place to hide from frisky, finagling felines and to get out of the sun.
The Frisky Finagling Felines
The next morning, the little man and I rummaged through the garage looking for the right size pot. With a hammer I carefully tapped at the lip of the pot until a crack formed. Pushing on the crack a bit, I thought I could make a small opening that would serve as a door. The pot refused to give, so I tapped on the pot again. That did it…it cracked all right and broke the bottom off. I’m still wondering how the bottom of the pot broke clean off. No matter, it still makes a perfectly fine toad abode it just has a bit more character.
We set the toad house against the side of the garage in the garden. Tall sunflowers now shade it and add a touch of whimsical ambiance. A clay pot saucer makes a nice little swimming pond for the toad, a place to hang out in the evening, invite a few friends over for dining alfresco on slugs and bugs and finish off the night with a song or two.
Now I know there are really nice toad abodes you can purchase, but there’s something just right about a toad calling a clay pot home. Do it correctly by first using an exacto knife or any super sharp knife to outline an entrance with as much pressure as possible without creating a crack. Tap gently using a hammer until the entrance is formed. It’s really as simple as that. If you’re feeling creative, you can decorate the humble home with all sorts of things from paint to moss to sticks and stones.
Just a quick reminder. If you want natural predators in your garden refrain from using insecticides, pesticides or any toxic chemicals that do away with the good as well as the bad. *Ribbit ribbit*