Fergal leaps into spring
May 12, 2020
We’re taking a full leap into spring, led by Fergal the Frog, who appears on many of our new gardening items.
Rebecca Proctor, our creative director and chief brand officer, named the Fergal products, saying the moniker just seemed to suit the character of this dapper fellow. Fergal, by the way, is also a popular name for boys in Ireland, and it means “brave, courageous, and valorous.” Some say it’s inspired by Fergal Mac Maolduin, an eighth-century High King renowned for his efforts in battle.
To that, we’d also like to add that Fergal is quite charming (as in Prince Charming, perhaps?). Wearing Courtly Stripes and Checks and sometimes a gold crown, Fergal appears on the Fergal the Frog Planter, Fergal the Frog Vase, Fergal the Frog Double Plant Holder, Fergal Frog on Ball, and Fergal the Frog Butler.
Fergal is the latest in a long line of our frog products, as we’re frequently inspired by the amphibian ambassadors who inhabit our 65-acre estate in Upstate New York. Most dwell in our pond, where several years ago 200 tadpoles were added. Corinne Bowman, our estate manager, says the frog orchestra can be heard most frequently in the mornings and evenings. And when the frogs aren’t singing, they have other ways of getting noticed, Corinne says. “When you walk around the pond, you’ll frequently see them jumping off the shore and into the pond, and when they do that they’ll make a little scream noise that will get your attention.”
Beyond our farm, frogs are essential to the environment and the food chain. They consume insects and are a food source for birds, snakes, and other animals. Frogs can secrete substances through their skin, too, and some secretions are beneficial and have been used to create new medical treatments.
Frogs are also viewed by many cultures as signs of good fortune and renewal. In Japan and in ancient Rome, frogs symbolized good luck. For cultures that depend on rain for bountiful crops, the frog is a sign of prosperous weather to come. In Native American tradition, the frog is often seen as a rainmaker and is viewed as a spirit animal or totem that is strongly associated with the water element and its cleansing attributes. The frog also represents the process of transformation, as it too undergoes a powerful process of growing into an adult frog from just a small tadpole.
Finally, frogs are frequently seen in popular culture, appearing in books, television, and even music. There’s Mr. Toad in “The Wind in the Willows” and Jeremy Fisher in “The Tale of Jeremy Fisher.” There’s also Kermit the Frog from Sesame Street. And if you’re of a certain age, you might remember the song “Joy to the World” by Three Dog Night, which featured Jeremiah the Bullfrog.
So, as you can see, there are plenty of reasons why we love frogs so much, and we invite you to take that leap as well.