Well it's not every garden designer who measures their success in the number of black eyed blobs of jelly which overnight miraculously appear in their garden pond, most would rate a Chelsea gold medal as the pinnacle of their achievement. Thrilling as a Chelsea gold medal would be of course, I'm actually much more excited by the fact that I now have frogs!
The arrival of so many of them on a still moonlit night when the season and weather conditions must have been just right to gather together to mate and lay their eggs, means that they are happy enough with the pond and its surrounding garden to entrust their offspring to it and for me that's a perfect endorsement of my skill in habitat creation.
Yes I know I'm completely deluded, there are thousands of garden ponds out there with frogs croaking happily away over their slimy bundles of joy but I've been eagerly awaiting their arrival since we took over the garden and the pond was dug two years ago.
First was the discovery of orchids in the lawn, just one species among so many in what is now a carefully managed garden meadow, their blooming brought with it several species of solitary and bumble bees and beautiful blue butterflies. A pair of mallards found my pond to their taste first as a honeymoon suit (and are still here much to the annoyance of my chickens) and then last summer came the newts, so they arrival of the frogs has been awaited with much anticipation and crossing of fingers and toes.
What creature will be next to find my garden as desirable as I do will be a surprise but whatever it is I'll be excited to see it because with every new form of life that sets up home here it means that my garden is a perfect wildlife habitat and for me that's worth a lot more than any gold medal.