For The Birds!

Yes, I want water in my garden. Reflections of light are most intense when the images involve sunsets on water and seashore walks at sunrise. The pinkness of the light changes the smell of the air and the look of the scenery. It was during these moments that I first noticed the variety of textures and colors in leaves, moss, and the wildflowers. So what is taking me so long? Why is there no pond in my garden? Many times this or that location has been considered, but something has kept me from that crucial and necessary commitment to place. Once the hole is dug, there’s no backtracking! So the lack of a pond goes on, but there is water this year. Water brings delight to all creatures. Like watching kids run through the sprinkler’s spray, there’s joy in catching a glance of a chipmunk scurrying to get in a quick sip before my tomcat appears. Or watching the fluttering of birds bathing from my upstairs window while attempting to get down to business. So if you don’t have room for a pond or cannot decide on where to put one, even if you have the room, consider these portable water sources for your local visiting wildlife:

Bird baths come in all shapes and sizes. There’s the standard purchase available at most hardware, garden and/or nursery centers. Then there’s the creative reuse or new use of various shallow containers. For instance, my yard sports a not-that-attractive, nearly indestructible aluminum circular sled filled with water. The birds and other thirsty insects take turns wetting themselves throughout most of the year. Sometimes it’s questionable as to whether the lineup’s for watertime or chowtime since the two sources share proximity.

Saucer waterdish gardens are another unused/new use of the dishes for under planters. The plastic ones tend to blow away when empty unless rocks or pebbles are thrown in to weight them. Pebbles, stones, interesting bark and driftwood are always nice additions in the water dishgarden. Occasionally I’ll throw in a blossom or pretty leaf, and this adds to the creation. Consider the visual arrangement awaiting the stroller who’s come to visit your garden. Strategic placement for a window or bench view adds a new dimension to your landscape.

Water bowls of all shapes and sizes can be used. The placement of rocks to give a gradual access keeps most chipmunks from drowning and birds from sliding in! Be sure to renew the water often while checking those birdfeeders, otherwise some interesting animals begin swimming around within a few days!

Though these do not completely satisfy my need for a pond, they have provided a source of refreshment this year to my wildlife visitors and myself.

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