a french garden

Reflections on nature in a garden in France

First baby toad emerges


Yesterday we saw our first baby toad – almost adult, without a tail.

Taking a picture was non too easy as he was quite frisky.

Today I realised he was not alone and a group of them were becoming more adventuresome and coming right out of the water to use their newly developed lungs.

I went to get a little bit of netting to help them climb out the plastic pond more easily but I need not have bothered as they were already on the stones surrounding the pond and in the grass.

Now we are frightened to go near the pond in case we stand on them!

They still like to keep together and there are plenty of damp places around the pool under the stones. In fact, all around the pool you can see baby toads, despite there still being tadpoles in the pool.

We first noticed the eggs on 21 May 2021. However, it is possible there were other spawning events before or after that date. The other tadpoles may just be late developers. Seemingly, once the toads leave the water they only return eventually to breed. They have chosen a good time to enter the garden because it is warm and damp, which sounds perfect for baby toads.

I do not expect to find any slugs in the garden now!

Author: afrenchgarden

Born in Scotland I have lived in England, Iran, USA and Greece. The house and land was bought twelve years ago in fulfilment of the dream of living in France that my Francophile husband nurtured. We had spent frequent holidays in France touring the more northerly parts and enjoying the food, scenery, architecture and of course gardens. However, we felt that to retire in France and enjoy a more clement climate than we currently had in Aberdeen we would need to find somewhere south of the river Loire but not too south to make returning to visit the UK onerous. The year 2000 saw us buying our house and setting it up to receive us and the family on holidays. The garden was more a field and we were helped by my son to remove the fencing that had separated the previous owners’ goats, sheep and chickens. We did inherit some lovely old trees and decided to plant more fruit trees that would survive and mature with the minimum of care until we took up permanent residence. The move took place in 2006 and the love hate relation with the “garden” started. There was so much to do in the house that there was little energy left for the hard tasks in the garden. It was very much a slow process and a steep learning curve. Expenditures have been kept to a minimum. The majority of the plants have been cuttings and I try to gather seeds wherever I can. The fruit trees have all been bought but we have tender hearts and cannot resist the little unloved shrub at a discount price and take it as a matter of honour to nurse it back to health. This year I have launched my Blog hoping to reach out to other gardeners in other countries. My aim is to make a garden for people to enjoy, providing shady and sunny spots with plants that enjoy living in this area with its limestone based subsoil and low rainfall in a warm summer. Exchanging ideas and exploring mutual problems will enrich my experience trying to form my French garden.

22 thoughts on “First baby toad emerges

  1. Those baby toads are sooo cute!!! 😍

    Liked by 3 people

  2. How I would love to have toads to eat all my slugs. Your garden looks wonderful I very much enjoy reading your adventures.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Even their mother couldn’t call them beautiful but they are so welcome in the garden. I used to have loads but I think grass snakes eat the tadpoles here.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I have never seen grass snakes here but we have harmless snakes called “coulouvres”, I think they are a type of whip snake. We have them in the garden so I never thought about it but they must be having a feast. Amelia


  4. So cute ! Wonderful !

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Very nice for you to be able to see all of this, the newts in our pond eat any spawn but it is nice to have newts.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The only newts I have seen in the garden are our marbled newts. I do not think they go into the water again once they are mature. They are so slow that I cannot imagine them eating anything unless it jumped into their mouths. But survive they do so they must find something that moves not much faster than they do. I have heard they eat earthworms. There are two other types of newts in the region so perhaps the pond might attract them. I would like to see a newt in the pond. Amelia


  6. Is there such a thing as a “plague of toads” ???
    bonnie in provence

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Very jealous, they’re lovely!

    Liked by 1 person

    • There are no more baby toads around today, so they must have hopped it to pastures green. There are still tadpoles in the pond so I think there must have been more than one brood (is brood the correct word, you know what I mean). Amelia


  8. Oh, so sweet! So jealous! Must get my own pond!

    Liked by 1 person

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