Tuesday, May 28, 2019

How I Made My Two Birdbath Gardens

I have three birdbaths two I got for a great deal off of Craigslist when the stars were aligned just right to gift me these two baths for the price of one. The third a heavy duty cement one, and this one actually serves as a birdbath, I paid full price for it at Lowes, the birds love it and I love watching them love it. The other two, one is some kind of plaster or thin cement medium the other resin.
The resin birdbath is tall with a large bowl for the bath, I added a small solar fountain motor to it and it worked great, spitting water high up into the air,  sparrows would line up on the fence to take turns swooping through the fountain spray. Unfortunately, the bowl had to be replenished with water EVERY HALF HOUR! I switched the motor to a bucket thinking the depth would offer more water for the gadget to use, but the same issue still surfaced the bucket needed water within 45 minutes. The plaster or cement combo birdbath is smaller, it has a black chipped painted surface that begged for a new coat of paint, or so I thought. Sometimes one has to sit on a problem before resolving successfully, patience saves time and money many times over. I moved this bath to stand by three black iron cauldrons to the front of our house and liked the arrangement. No coat of paint needed with this combo. But I wrestled with the idea of popping a Fairy Garden in this new location as our home is a federally registered antique building, 'what would people think?' thought I. 'It's right next to our historic sign', 'aren't most Fairy gardens in backyards anyways?' Throwing caution to the wind won, mostly because I really wanted to make a fairy garden and realized I had a pair of miniature rainboots collecting dust on my drawing table purchased on ETSY two years ago, waiting for it's garden bed to be made.

Here is How I Made My Fairy Garden Birdbath


1. Fairy statue or figure-I was fortunate to have one gifted to me a few years back by a dear friend.
2. Low growing ground cover.
4. Lobelia (this is an annual) and needs regular watering.
5. Drill-always wear sunglasses or safety glasses and a mask.
6. Sand, a little Peastone and Potting Soil.
7. Rock-added as a nice visual anchor to arrange the elements around.

First I drilled some holes into the bowl of the birdbath for drainage. Then I added some sand and peastone to help with drainage, on top of this I added the Potting Soil, Potting Soil offers nutrients and is lighter than Top Soil, and since a birdbath is more of a container than the actual ground is, I opted for this soil. I then wet the soil down so it wouldn't fall over the side of the bowl and put the rock in. The Scottish Moss was placed next, I simply plopped it in and it looks like a grassy berm rising up behind the Fairy. I don't remember the kind of groundcover I used it is an annual, but it is placed so it will grow down the sides of the bowl, so in essence my Fairy garden offers the three must haves in a container arrangement, a Thriller-the Scottish Moss, a Filler the Fairy, Rock and Fairy Boots, and a Spiller the creeping groundcover. My hope is that the moss can over-winter, I may cover it with mulch next Fall. It's supposed to be hardy, but I've had trouble with Irish Moss surviving in our lawn, which is why I purchased the Scottish Moss.

My Succulent Birdbath is a Pinterest inspired idea. For a resin made product it was sturdy and nice looking and even though the birds loved it, it looked barren without the Solar fountain. Ever since our local Garden Club had a workshop on making succulent gardens I've wanted to add some hardy (for zone 6 Connecticut) Hens and Chicks and more in a protective area.

 How I Made My Succulent Birdbath Garden

1. Drill-always wear sunglasses or safety glasses and a mask.
2. Sand and Peastone
3. Special Potting Soil for Succulents and Cactus-a freebie offer on our local Buy Nothing Windsor Facebook Page. Just about every town in our country is represented so search for yours!
4. Rock-some people offer free rocks on Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace
5. Hens and Chicks  I purchased mine from our local Garden Club Sale
6. Succulent Tile I purchased mine at Lowes, make sure you purchase succulents for your zone area
7. Circle of landscape fabric to cover bottom of base.

The top of this Birdbath Bowl was removeable, I drilled holes towards the upper edge as the bowl was hollow inside and deep and my first holes weren't penetrating through to the outside. The holes again are for drainage. I opted to drill holes as this garden will be outside all year round which makes it vulnerable to really rainy days. As a minor precaution, some fine sand spilled out from the top of the base, used to add weight to keep the base stable, so be careful not to rest your base on it's side. I then cut a circle out of landscape fabric to cover the bottom, this way the finer succulent soil wouldn't be able to drip through the holes and run down the light colored resin base. I decided to "glue" the bowl to the base with GE Silicone clear glue as I worried a strong wind could knock the bowl off and all would be scattered into the garden below. After adding some sand and Peastone, I added the soil, then a rock in the center to anchor the garden. The Hen and Chicks were added first then I simply ripped pieces from the tile and firmly pressed into the wet dirt. I probably packed too many in, so I will take some out once some have rooted and move. We just had a heavy rainstorm, and so far from my kitchen window view, everything looks fine. It's recommended to water once a week until your succulents are acclimated to their garden space.

TIPS on Saving A Few Bucks So You Can Have Your Own Birdbath Garden

To save money on plants check your local nursery for sales and even the dollar rack at Lowes (plants that usually need A LOT of TLC). Local Garden Clubs are great for swap meetings where members swap plants with each other. Or put a call out on your Buy Nothing ("your town") Facebook page for local residents seeking help in weeding out overgrown plants in their gardens, I scored a truckload of low-growing sedum this way! Birdbath finds can be found on Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace also check your local Town Facebook pages where residents offer up used items for a price.

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