Preparing for a positive outcome in the wildlife pond, that some tadpoles escape being eaten by Damselfly nymphs and make it to froglet stage, tonight’s gardening job was extra plant cover for their emergence from the water.
A Gunnera plant (commonly known as giant rhubarb) wouldn’t be the first plant to spring to mind for this purpose. However, I didn’t just plant one Gunnera on the edge of my small wildlife pond tonight – I planted two!
The giant Gunnera manicata can grow to 2.5m (8ft) tall by 4m (13ft) wide or more, although the one I’ve had, for a number of years now, has been very well behaved behind my front fence. Pond side, it was two miniature Gunneras I planted tonight.
Gunnera magellanica will make a great edge of creeping ground cover. Its round, almost glossy leaves are a dainty 2cm (1”) and it only makes a height of 15cm (6”) – a perfect froglet height!
As a gardener, I’m looking forward to seeing this new gunnera in flower but am aware that a creeping habit might mean it needs kept in check. It’s hardiness in my garden may be in question too so I’ll consider giving it winter protection. It’s always interesting to see how an unfamiliar plant behaves, isn’t it?
The grass line view for emerging froglets towards the miniature Gunneras
The sloping stone will make it easy for the froglets to get out of the water.
If the froglets go in the other direction they will find a terracotta house waiting. Plantings of bergenia, grasses and heuchera will provide more cover too.
Telima was lifted between the grasses tonight and replaced with Heuchera
which will give a higher canopy of cover along the gravel path which the froglets
will need to cross to get to the nearby border of well established plant cover.
Fingers tightly crossed that these little guys survive and get to explore life
outside the pond and come back as adults to visit us next Spring 🙂
This post was published by Shirley for shirls gardenwatch in June 2016.