FROM LEFT: Essie Bird, Gwen Smithers, Gayle Robinson and Gail Willmott in Gwen's garden - the artwork was painted by Gwen.
FROM LEFT: Essie Bird, Gwen Smithers, Gayle Robinson and Gail Willmott in Gwen's garden - the artwork was painted by Gwen.

Frogs and artistic mysteries in Gympie garden

GWEN Smithers was one proud lady showing off her pride and joy "mystery artistic display” to her gardening friends of Gympie Municipal Horticultural Society earlier this month.

The visit took place on Saturday, October 15, in Glen's garden on Hilton Rd in Gympie.

Gwen Smithers in her garden.
Gwen Smithers in her garden.

Everyone was very impressed with her beautiful handiwork (painting, ceramic and mosaic).

"I put my heart and soul into everyone of them,” Gwen said.

Ashley Keune spoke about frogs and the group found it very interesting.
Ashley Keune spoke about frogs and the group found it very interesting.

This was one adventure garden, everywhere you look there were more surprises, all cleverly positioned throughout the garden. One of the highlights was the lovely lady mannequin, she wore a trendy black outfit while sitting on a wooden bench and relaxing near the pond, a great place to rejuvenate after a hectic day of work.

When Bevan and Gwen moved to this residence 15 years ago she decided to work on improving the soil structure by purchasing dirt but this was a complete disaster.

"When it rained the soil set rock hard, it was like concrete”, says Gwen.

Diana Thorogood sits beside the lovely mannequin and Dorothy McCabe (standing).
Diana Thorogood sits beside the lovely mannequin and Dorothy McCabe (standing).

This was a massive setback in gardening. It took a very long time to change the texture of the soil but it is definitely possible with Gwen constantly digging, applying horse/cow manure and mulch.

Witnessing plants thriving in the amended soil makes the task all the more worthwhile.

Gwen says, "She loves her garden and treats it like her family. It keeps her out of mischief and wouldn't have it any other way”.

Gardeners enjoyed admiring Gwen's artwork and also listening to Ashley Keune share his passion of Frogging Around with 26 species of frogs found on his 45 acre property at My Coles Creek.

Here's a list of frogs that have been seen around Gympie and they are:

Green Tree Frogs, Striped Rocket Frogs, Giant Bark Frogs, Striped

Marsh Frogs, Eastern Sedge Frogs, Bleating Tree Frogs, Peron's Tree

Frogs and Eastern Sign-Bearing Froglets.

Useful information was provided about each of these frogs: Are they ground or tree frogs?

What's their size? Where they breed? How many eggs in each clutch and listened to the frogs calling.

A lot of members said, "I've heard that sound before”.

Here are some interesting facts you may like to know:

There are about 210 species of frogs in Australia.

Only male frogs vocalise with female frogs grunting.

Female frogs are much bigger than male frogs.

Frogs have smooth or rough skin.

Majority of frogs are not green in colour.

Frog species are active during different times of the year.

Native frogs lay few eggs (from 100 to 2000) whereas cane toads lay lots of eggs (from 15000 - 25000).

Frogs should not be moved from one location to another - illegal.

This may introduce fungus problem therefore wipe out the whole population of all species.

Attracting frogs to your garden is quite simple - just a matter of making sure they have water (having moisture in the soil), shelter (providing them with a diverse range of plants therefore attracting more diverse range of frogs), food (having a natural environment like leaves, logs and sticks is much better than manicured gardens), and breeding sites nearby (if frogs are present, during dry spells, they will stay dormant).

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