Toads and frogs probably love our water gardens more than we do. Obviously they love the water, so having water right next to plants is the perfect invitation for them.
It’s also a very unique idea to intentionally host them in your pond, and giving them a home in your garden. This has several benefits. Toads and frogs will eat many insects and other pests which might be damaging your plants or are otherwise being a nuisance. They also can provide a nice additional sound ambiance to your waterfalls and fountains. The familiar croaking is a pleasant part of natural outdoor soundscapes. Unless of course, you don’t happen to like their sound, or find it unnerving.
There may be some concerns, though, if you try to play host to these amphibians. If you have a lawn, you’ll have to watch out when mowing, especially when the babies begin to show up and start hopping around. Dogs and cats also will chase and destroy frogs and toads in many cases. It may take quite a bit of creativity to provide a safe haven for the little green guys if you have other pets and a lawn.
To build an inviting habitat for frogs and toads, you need to be aware of their needs. They like to be able to “hang out” in the water, so it’s good to provide a way for them to sit partially submerged, such as rocks or a shoreline of sorts. The shore will also provide them away to easily get in and out of the water. Frogs also need shade, especially in the daytime, and preferably it should be wet or moist as well. There are even professionally made toad houses to provide them with shelter.
You can also stack rocks to create miniature caves, or use clay planting pots turned on their sides. You may need to actually water the ground in the areas where they hang out, and if they mate in your garden you’ll want to keep the baby areas nice and damp so they don’t die.
Another great trick to keep toads happy is a well placed solar lamp. They can use it as an all-you-can-eat buffet, as the bugs will just keep on coming. They may also enjoy the warmth, though I’m certainly not able to say that for sure.
Be careful, also, when adding water to make up for evaporation. Tap water can kill the tadpoles, so you’ll need to dechlorinate whenever adding water.
The most important thing for a frog and toad pond is shade. It will need to have plenty of shade available for them to get out of the sun when they want or need to. Of course this can be accomplished in many ways. Trees, bushes, or any other kind of taller plants. Also, don’t forget to place some lily pads in your pond for the ever-classic view of a toad sitting on a lily pad, catching bugs to pass the time.