Swiss frogs say it’s spring

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GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – It’s the last day of March and the sun is working its way through the clouds to bring us a touch of spring. Just ask the local pond frogs, happy to sneak out for some sun before local gardeners go to work cleaning up.    

Garden cleanup time gives a gift of frogs

  This has been one tough winter, with snow so deep it buried several trees, including my nearly two-metre tall dwarft pear tree. Broken branches, trees bent to the ground, rosebushes in pieces on the ground: the damage has been great, and the budget will have to stretch to several replacement plants. But it’s not […]

Gloves on, cleanup list in hand, but spare the tadpoles

Two weeks of very unusually warm weather and, even in the mountains, we’re tempted to call it spring. My elderly neighbour, who has spent her life here and who remembers the weather from past years, like a good farmer, says we’re having August in April, “and that’s not normal!” she worries. I resisted the temptation […]

A tad hungry for the bacon

I’m new to the frog business, having unwittingly swept them out and over the edge of our pond for a couple years. It’s fed by an underground stream, then has a little waterfall on the lower end. Last year, to my astonishment, I discovered that the blob of little balls floating on the surface was […]

Birds and bees, ok, but let’s welcome frogs

Passion in the ponds The surest sign of spring at 1,100 metres altitude is not among the flowers, where the bees have been busy, or among the trees, filled with birds: it’s in the pond. We watched the odd balls that hold spawn as days grew longer and warmer. About two weeks ago tiny, tiny […]

The fairest Frog of all is French

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Pays de Gex, France (GenevaLunch) – Prince Charming lives in a pond in the Pays de Gex, where he leads the good life of a French frog (aka toad) who won’t be invited to the kitchen anytime soon. Read all about him and other creatures who live in Shirley Curran’s pond, in Gardener in the […]

Treasures in a Pays de Gex pond

Shirley Curran normally writes about books, crosswords and skiing for GenevaLunch but it turns out she has another passion: ponds. She is our guest blogger, sharing the tresures of her Pays de Gex, France pond – not quite as close to the sky as my Alpine garden, but high enough. By Shirley Curran This morning […]

Birds, bees and frog spawn

An exceptionally long winter, with the garden buried for five months under nearly a metre of snow, has finally come to an end, and the garden has emerged. Unscathed – well, not quite. Broken branches had to be sawed off several bushes and trees, especially saddening on beautiful little Japanese maples, two of which now […]