Water gardens give outdoor settings an allure. When the burble of water beckons, people and wildlife gather. My friend Polla Horn has a garden featuring a crashing waterfall (above) that provides the perfect spot for relaxing after a busy day.
Several individuals have suggested I consider a water feature for my Mid-Atlantic yard. With the property's multiple slopes, adding a waterfall and stream would be a cinch. But I'm not interested.
Wildlife already frequent my yard, including deer, turkeys, foxes, snakes, groundhogs, skunks and the occasional bear. The sound of running water would attract even more wildlife from the forest--and I'm not sure that's a wise idea.
So I introduce water in the garden using a simple approach: a birdbath. This one item provides outstanding enjoyment and entertainment.
In my last garden I used multiple birdbaths, with varying depths staged at different levels.
Different species preferred the different birdbaths. Small birds visited the shallow-saucer birdbath, while larger birds commandeered the deep-pedestal birdbath.
In my garden I install a heated deck-rail-mounted birdbath each winter.
I typically remove it in spring, replacing it with a birdbath in the garden below. This year I was slow to remove it and discovered a wonderful surprise. Because it's located just outside my dining room, I get to see--up close and personal--the bathing beauties that come calling. Tufted titmice and chickadees visit daily.
The stones in the bath help small birds, such as chickadees, enter the water with ease. Other feathered friends that visit include mourning doves, native sparrows, various woodpeckers, cardinals and robins.
The birds not only provide a mealtime floor show, they also sing tunes for my listening pleasure. Better still, they don't destroy the garden, as other forest wildlife.
Maybe one day I will add a pond. For now I'm smiling every time I see the birdbath.
How do you enjoy water in your garden?