Ode to a toad

A long time since the last post. The Bath garden is now the responsibility of a rental agency, I have moved on. Maybe one day the house and garden will have someone who cares again. Someone who has the time and / or cash to mend the crumbling lime mortared garden walls and finish off the rougher edges; start new projects but preferably not pave over it again;  take Rosa Gardenia back under control and tend the toads. The rule is never to go back to find out though, it’s not mine anymore.

A few weeks before I left, I saw the gold back door toad slowly making its way up the concrete path where the sheltering camellia pots used to be.  She was heading towards the steps up into the garden which toads can’t traverse, I decided to help her out.  Carefully picking her up, I noticed she had a gash down her side, all black and bubbly, was that the end of my toad? I bid her farewell and good luck as I set her down in the soft humus of the woodbed.

The Bath garden was my third of four gardens planted so far.

Key lessons

  • Coping with snails and slugs,  gradually refining down to plants that could survive.
  • Planting for shade
  • How critical to some plants longer periods of direct sunshine are (especially with the added gloomy weather of 2012)
  • Less is more, over time lots of shrubs had to come out as they started to mature

What will I miss? A summer morning before Bath was completely awake, the low hum of traffic, swifts overhead, the Genista aetnensis in full golden flower.

Sitting on a warm evening watching the light fall and seeing the occasional flitting bat.  Breathing in the scent of lilies and listening to the rustle of toads in the flower beds.

The excitement of spring waking the woodbed after nearly 6 months in total shade. Every day something unwinding, unfurling, pushing through, some awaited,  forgotten others re-discovered.