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Got Frogs?
by Naomi Buckman
by Naomi Buckman


After graduating from Fryeburg Academy in Maine, having studied horticulture and ecology, I began to work with my mentor and business partner, Kurt Bahr. He was trained at the New York Botanical Gardens in Botany & Landscape Design and has designed and maintained gardens for over 25 years. Shortly after that I started Garden Associates LLC, a garden design & creation business.

I have given demonstrations and lectures to the local garden club and provided a talk to Fryeburg Academy's Horticulture Class on "Opportunities in Horticulture" which was filmed by the local access TV channel. Backyard plant hunting is a hobby of mine. I have discovered and sent two possible new plant introductions to Terra Nova Nurseries, a tissue culture company that trials and launches new plants into the nursery industry.

On April 15th I was awarded the 2002 Garden Globe Award of Achievement for Photography - Newspaper from the Garden Writers Association of America.

Member of the Garden Writers Association. Please see her site at

May 26, 2002

NBuckmanBumpandI.jpg (84252 bytes)
NBuckmanFredtheFrog.jpg (97807 bytes)

Little did I know when I set up my new water containers what they would bring to the garden. Last year I used tall pots without holes to house my water fountain and plants. This year I decided to skip the fountain and used two large commercial plastic bins. Placing the containers next to my screenhouse, I sank them partway into the mulched ground to make them seem more like natural ponds. I also buried a tall marsh grass between the two containers to create a boggy, waters-edge feel. Shortly after setting up my two mini ponds in May, I noticed a new resident. At the base of my soft rush plant which lives in its own pot inside the water container, sat a small, quiet frog. He sat motionless, or so it seemed, all day. The waterlily pads were young and too small to support him, or no doubt Fred would have used one as his perch. I had decided that Fred the Frog was his name.

After a while I noticed a second frog. This one was much bigger and a lustrous green color. He really appreciated the piece of driftwood I used as decoration in front of one container. In the morning I would see him taking his rays on the log. So he became Bump, short for Bump on the Log. 

One day while handpicking potato beetles in my veggie garden, I thought of Fred and Bump and wondered if they would be interested in making a meal of the nasty little pests. The first time I dropped a beetle into Bump's pond there was a 10-second pause and then, in a flash, he jumped the length of the container and gulped the jittering insect down! I couldn't believe how fast it had all happened! When I dropped a beetle in front of Fred, he was a little slower and less accurate in grabbing his dinner, making me think that he must be a younger frog still in training. 

The next day there were two more small frogs in my water containers. I figured the word was getting out about the yummy free meals available at Chez Garden Nome. That didn't bother me though because I knew that the more frogs I had in my garden, the better life would be. 

One afternoon, I placed my camera as close as possible and captured Bump and Fred on film. Bump was so still I was able to photograph my waving reflection in his black and gold eye. What hams! I never knew how wonderful frogs were. Next on my list is to build a large pond to provide an even bigger home for my new friends.

In the evening I sit in my screenhouse enjoying the antics of Bump, Fred, Ted and Jed (yes, I named the newcomers too). We're just one big, happy family!


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