A frog pond is almost an oxymoron in the pond gardening world. “Build it and they will come” seems to be the way of things.
I have had several ponds in my garden life (with more to come I note) and I’ve never bothered to add frogs or tadpoles to any of them. Mother Nature has done it well for me and I’m grateful that the native frogs arrived to do their thing. But yes, enterprising garden shops will try to sell you some. 🙂
I did however create several points that made it easier for frogs to live and thrive in the pond area.
1) I put a branch or log (or two) from the side of the pond into the water. I tried to make this look as natural as I could (if you’ve ever been in the bush, you’ll know that trees are constantly falling into the water). These logs provided a bridge between the dry side of the pond and the water. Frogs need to get out of the water to hunt and this bridge gave them the means to do so. The logs also provided a place for the frogs to hide behind when predators such as my friendly Lab came for a swim.
2) I had lily pads in the pond and I fed my plants well. It was usually only the smaller frogs that could sit on the pads but it was still a great sight.
3) I used a lot of flat rocks around the pond and the frogs would usually be found sunning themselves.
4) I grew plants right to the edge of the pond and this provided both cover and a source of food (small slugs, insects etc) for the frogs.
5) I didn’t use a lot of pumps and waterfalls in my smaller ponds. The frogs seemed to like the still water more than the roiling surfaces of more active ponds.
6) I didn’t have big fish in the frog pond. Need I say more – small frogs and big fish are not overly compatible? Small fish though are fine – and they do keep the mosquitoes down (as do the adult frogs.)