Containers forum: Toad house container

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Name: Kayleigh
(Zone 5a)
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HoosierHarvester
Oct 8, 2014 5:41 PM CST
Here is my toad house story:

Last year at the farmer's market there was a vender who was selling hand-crafted ceramic items. Among them were a couple very cut toad houses. I really like them, they were fairly expensive, and I thought ... those would never hold up outside. Well, I was into making hypertufa containers, and thought, hey, I'll make a couple toad houses with hypertufa myself. So at the time I didn't think I had a large enough round type containers available (now know I could have used nursery pots, and inverted for bottom to be top). I decided I would tufa on the outside of a bowl, instead of the inside. Then I pressed in gemstone decorations on the top to say toad house. I was pleased with the way they looked. Well, what I didn't realize, because it's more difficult to tell when you are covering the outside of a form instead of the inside, that my tufa was too thin. When I removed the forms, all three cracked. I just figured it a waste and they sat there a few days. Then while I was making some other hypertufa containers, I had some left over mix, and thought I'd see if I could patch one of the toad houses. This meant I lost my decorative top, but oh well. And it worked. That one toad house has been in good shape since late last summer.

Well, I kind of forgot about that toad house (threw the others away), and it sat all year on my patio. And I had thought to myself that no toad would get in it anyway because they seemed they like to bury themselves down in soft soil or potting mixture, since I found two of them in my very small planted containers that way, wondering what had lifted up and destroyed my seedling plants. But I really like toads. And then I hadn't got the toad house moved to a flower bed and placed some loose potting mix under it for the toad to bury down in.

The patio gets pretty messy through the busy summer season, so I decided to tidy up a bit. Lo and behold, I picked up the toad house container to move it, and I freaked because something jumped. It was a toad! Now I know that may not be exciting to you, but it sure was to me. A toad in my toad house!

I was going to post this in the "Show Us Your Containers" thread, but thought it might be too long, and if it drops out of site quickly, then that's okay.

Now I scared the poor little toad (really, "big" toad) and jumped away to hide behind some other things (it sure scared me too). But here is a picture of my toad house container, and then I put him/her back in the toad house for another photo. I was pleased to find that the toad has stayed there the rest of the day Smiling (and I moved it to a sunnier spot for its warmth since its cooler now). I of course checked in on it periodically.

So if you like making hypertufa containers, you might be interested in making a toad house, and then finding one who took up residence.

Toad House:
Thumb of 2014-10-08/HoosierHarvester/b58296

Toad House with Toad:
Thumb of 2014-10-08/HoosierHarvester/4a350d

Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
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valleylynn
Oct 8, 2014 6:18 PM CST

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Hurray! Hurray!
What a lucky person you are to have a toad in your toad house, a custom built abode for your lovely friend. I sure wish I had a toad like that.
What part of the country do you live in?

Hosier, you should copy and past your post into an article for ATP.
[Last edited by valleylynn - Oct 8, 2014 6:19 PM (+)]
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Name: Debra
Garland, TX (NE Dallas suburb) (Zone 8a)
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lovemyhouse
Oct 8, 2014 8:48 PM CST
Love it. Smiling Lovey dubby
If you don't ask, the answer is always 'no.'
Name: Bev
Salem OR (Zone 8a)
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webesemps
Oct 8, 2014 9:58 PM CST
I agree with Valleylynn about the lucky you, Hoosier (though you probably think luck has nothing to do with it; it was the hard work; creativity and forgetfulness that paid off...) Hope your toad stays awhile...?
I also agree on the idea of posting your neat story/experience in ATP Articles. Hurray!
Name: Kayleigh
(Zone 5a)
Cat Lover Seed Starter Canning and food preservation Plays in the sandbox Lilies Hummingbirder
Irises Daylilies Cut Flowers Butterflies Region: Indiana Vegetable Grower
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HoosierHarvester
Oct 9, 2014 6:35 PM CST
Thank you ladies for posting. I really don't know how to do that Lynn. I'm not very ATP saavy since I don't get here real often. LOL ... forgetfulness ... one thing we don't always want to do. I'm in growing zone 5 ... I don't know where toads go for the winter. I had visitors today and told them the story and checked for the toad, but not there. My guess was yesterday was a warmer day, the concrete was warm, both upper and lower, even though only 65 and less, the toad found more warmth there.
Name: Linda
Carmel, IN (Zone 5a)
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mom2goldens
Oct 10, 2014 6:49 PM CST
That's really cool! We have a toad living in our pond, but he never goes into the toad house that is sitting right near the pond.

Love your hypertufa toad house.

A fellow Hoosier gardener,
Linda
Name: Teresa
South central KY (Zone 6b)
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bluegrassmom
Oct 18, 2014 4:43 AM CST
I once had a big toad that lived in one of my broken terra cotta pots. I left it that summer and saw him a couple more times. They can scare you when moving from under leaves and such.

I have been putting off making any of the hyperfufa containers for my mini hosta. This one be a good project to do too, if I get around to it.

Teresa
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level Sempervivums
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valleylynn
Oct 18, 2014 1:05 PM CST

Moderator

Here is a fun Toad Puzzle to do on those days the weather won't let you play outside. I never thought about the fact that toads can climb.
http://cubits.org/PlaypenGraphics/thread/view/80133/

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