Residents in Snohomish, Washington, know it’s spring when the last bit of snow has melted and colorful flowers begin to bloom. For Allison Lamb, however, the first sign always comes from a noisy but cute group of neighbors.
“We know when spring has arrived when we can hear all the frogs begin to croak,” Lamb told The Dodo.
According to Lamb, the frogs who visit her home and business — Snohomish Lavender Farm — are plentiful and incredibly active.
“I have some flowers that line my house, and they will climb up the walls,” Lamb said, “and they get up in my hanging flower baskets.”
It’s not uncommon for Lamb to even find a frog or two hopping around her home.
But one day, while inspecting her flower garden, she was shocked to find a frog doing something she’d never seen before — he was taking a much-needed rest in one of her dahlias.
“I was delighted to find a frog sleeping in one of my dahlias,” Lamb said.
Lamb grows over 200 dahlias on her farm and was pleasantly surprised to learn that the flowers provide more than just pollen for bees — they also act as a perfectly sized hotel for frogs.
You can watch the frogs snuggled up in their hotel here:
“I kept seeing more and more as the summer progressed,” Lamb said. “Some days I could find over 10 different frogs taking shelter in my flowers.”
During the spring and summer seasons, Lamb and her children spend most of their mornings looking for pacific tree frogs in their flower garden. For them, the visiting frogs are a source of excitement and entertainment.
But the frogs, who burrow themselves into the dahlias’ small petal pockets, aren’t just there for fun. They play a crucial role in keeping the flower garden, especially the dahlias, alive and thriving.
“The frogs eat the bad bugs for me,” Lamb said.
Of course, there are others who inhabit Lamb’s flower garden alongside the frogs.
“The bees will sleep in my dahlias overnight, I find little spiders taking shelter as well, and last year I found little gardener snakes up in my flowers,” Lamb said. “I also have several salamanders, a praying mantis, and, in the late summer, caterpillars are everywhere.”
But, for Lamb, there’s nothing like the frogs cuddling up inside her flowers. She loves to see them sleeping in the petals, with their small, green heads poking out, and is always sad to see them go at the end of summer.
“They stay in the flowers all season until the first frost comes and the flowers die,” Lamb said.
The frogs leave when it gets too cold, but Lamb knows they’ll be back again in the spring. And she hopes that next year, she’ll find even more guests in her flower hotel.