UPDATE: This is not what I had in mind:

Site of future bird bath

In a recent post I used this photo of what I declared was my final design for the little nook out back. You know, “Ta-da!” Well, is there ever a “final” anything in the garden? Not any garden I’ve ever had.

One comment to that earlier post really stuck with me – “Looks like a lovely space. All it needs is a small water feature/bath to bring in the birds and a nice chair for you to sit and admire.” Well, I DO have chairs nearby – on the porch and a patio – but true enough, no water feature.

But that got me wanting a bird bath to replace a plant I was unhappy with. That’s the three ‘Cheyenne Sky’ red switch grasses under the window, where they had started flopping by June. Bad grass! (Okay, maybe bad site for it.)

Site with new bird bath

But doesn’t this bird bath look prettier, anyway? Me, I’m thrilled with it.

Here’s how I ended up getting it. I asked a local wildlife group if birds would actually use a bath in that location – yes, indeed, they assured me.

Then I asked where to buy one and was directed to Backyard Naturalist in Olney, MD. That’s where a friend bought hers, a wildly painted like this one above. The baths are called Bird Bath Art Poles and they’re ingenious, and so simple.

You just drive this metal pole into the ground a few inches – you turn it like an augur – then slip a hand-painted PVC pole over it. They’re stable – no tipping over – and it takes up less room in the border since the base is so slim. Made by Studio M. in Fenton, Missouri.

Selection of bird bath art poles

Here’s the selection I found at the store, and I chose the Farmhouse style with its more subdued colors. The stronger colors would be great in my front garden, though. Hmmm.

bird bath art pole with fountain, seen through porch screen

Let there be gurgling

Next, to produce the sight and sound of running water AND attract birds, I added this $20 floating solar-powered fountain, seen above through my porch screen. In full sun it shoots pretty high; in the shade there’s a short dribble. The fountain doesn’t store solar energy; so the height depends on the amount of light at the moment.

Customer reviews and others predict that this won’t last forever but at $20, I’m okay with that. Other, possibly longer-lasting models run all the time and have batteries that need replacing. This one is no hassle.

Birds, any time you’re ready

After a couple of weeks of absolutely no birds showing interest in their stunning and lively new bath, I moved it a few feet away onto the patio, close to my thistle feeder (the only feeder I have).

More weeks go by, and nothing. Then a few days ago, sitting on my porch I spied this:


This one exciting event wasn’t the start a string of regular visits, mind you, but it was sure encouraging. I’ll leave the bath here until it attracts more birds or until it’s time to move it against the house so I can plug in the heater that I bought.

Now birds, anything else I can get you?