Archive for July, 2014

Ode to Toads

Dave Barry has quipped:
“If God had wanted us to be concerned for the plight of the toads, he would have made them cute and furry.”

I must respectfully disagree. First, we have really little ones, not the size of Neville’s pet Trevor in the Harry Potter books. They’re very cute as they hop about. I guess they’re toadlets. Second, they’re prodigious insect eaters, and are one of a gardener’s best friends. There are articles all over the internet about how to attract toads to your garden. You can even buy or build toad houses. Just Google “toad gardens”.

Usually we have quite a few levitating like popcorn from the lawn and mulch as we putter in the yard, but this year the numbers are extraordinary. I guess that’s not too surprising since it’s been the wettest year since forever. I recently read that they like to eat grubs, and I’ve noticed a few holes in the leaves of my hostas this year, a grub symptom. So my little toad friends are more than welcome. Sometimes they make it to the upper deck for a visit. The first time I saw one plastered to the glass doors that open to the deck I worried the little guy (or girl, I guess. I’ve no knowledge of toad husbandry) had ventured beyond his/her ability to return. But they seem to disappear and get themselves back to the garden (ooh, I just heard Crosby, Stills and Nash singing “Woodstock” in my head). But they’re just visiting and stay a short while and then move on, as this morning’s guest did. This one was rather large compared to most of them we see around here: his body was about 1.5″. I hope that’s from eating lots of bugs.



Please be good to the bees


Waxing poetic on June

I realize it’s now July, but I read this quote in Suite Française by Irene Nemirovsky, and felt it was worth recording. She was speaking of Paris, but it reminds me how precious these days are to us Northlanders.


Creeping Jenny Wonder

I’ve always had some Creeping Jenny in one or more of my pots.  I love the way it fills in spaces and drapes over the edge of a pot like planter jewelry.  But never before have I seen one bloom!  A few days ago I thought I saw a little yellow bud, and lo and behold, there soon followed a star-shaped blossom.  It’s not too noticeable because the color of the flower is not a dramatic change from the color of the surrounding foliage, but it’s a lovely surprise.  Now I want more, greedy gardener that I am.


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minnesota growing

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leaf and twig

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