24 February 2015

Singing Frogs

A pond in winter looks cold and lifeless, but when spring returns it brims with life. Water attracts all kinds of creatures and the tiniest garden pond will soon become a home for frogs. Even a shallow tray filled with pebbles and water will provide a welcome, although they need more space to breed. I have several "frog puddles" in my garden. But did you know that we have "singing" frogs?

Pond in Winter - Marion Malcher
A pond in winter

3 February 2015

The English Yew

European Yew Berry
Yew Berry by Didier Descouens CC BY-SA 3.0
The English Yew, (Taxus baccata), one of the few native British evergreens is renowned for it’s longevity & it’s poison, Taxin. The name ‘taxus’ may be related to the Greek ‘toxon’ (bow) and ‘toxicon’ the poison with which arrowheads were dressed. Yew is poisonous, leave the berries for the birds.