Monday, June 23, 2008

Bathing Beauties

I have never met a gardener who didn't also like birds. Now I have met gardeners who won't do anything for the birds, such as put out birdbaths or feed them, but they ALL unequivocally like the birds. Skeeter's great tips on dealing with birdbaths and caring for them was a timely post which tied in well with this one. Now I don't have to think too hard to tell you all how to care for birdbaths but making sure you have fresh water for them is important so they can eat those bugs!
I am one of those gardeners who wants to do for the birds. Silly me, I keep thinking they will become my friends and understand I only have their best interests at heart. But it ain't happening. They keep 'depositing' pesky weed seeds like poison ivy, honeysuckle, wild cherries, and pokeweed in my garden. Nonetheless, I roll out the welcome mat daily.

Not sure how it happens but I am getting a collection of birdbaths in my garden. I love birdbaths. It is not enough to just feed the birds, no, providing a bathing station for the beauties is the only way to go! I never knew the joy of bathing birds until I moved here to Tennessee.

The birds just can't get enough of the birdbaths, and I can't get enough of watching them. Early in the morning the robins come to splish splash everywhere. Beads of water with sunlight captured for just a moment flash through the air.

Next come the doves, cardinals and blue jays. They are not as happy go lucky as the robins, but love the water just the same. Throughout the day I will notice chickadees, finches and bluebirds visiting the birdbaths for a drink or a quick dunk. The birdbaths are never ending hubs of activity for the birds.

Once the little bathing beauties are finished bathing, they quickly flutter to nearby trees to dry off. While drying off they might watch their buddies bathe or talk to themselves in a pleasant manner.

The first picture is of a birdbath visible from my kitchen window. It is a busy bathing area in the evening when I am preparing dinner or washing the dishes. This birdbath is located in the shade in a nice garden with plenty of shrubs and areas for the birds talk and socialize during bath time. Many types of birds frequent this area.

The second picture is of my finch bathing area. It is located pretty much in full sun in my butterfly garden. Mainly finches bath and drink here. I think sometimes the water gets a bit too hot and it may be too shallow for the robins and bigger birds.

The third birdbath is a cement bath all types of birds love. It is located on the north side of my home in my 'Crabapple Garden'. It is most busiest in the morning when the robins are splashing up a storm.

The white three tier water feature is a resin fountain that when turned on attracts the interest of birds. I can't say I have ever seen any birds bathing or drinking from it, but the cat sure loves drinking out of it!

The pink three tiered concrete birdbath is a busy spot for all types of birds. It is located in my pink/blue garden out front. It is a joy to sit on my porch and watch the robins frolic here.

I have several other birdbaths. One is a metal birdbath in my front foundation garden. It is mainly visited by the finches.

The other 'water' areas are mainly comprised of shallow dishes, both plastic and clay saucers, full of water placed on the ground for easy accessibility of birds, frogs and toads. Birdbaths need not be fancy, just clean and full and accessible with an area for a quick retreat in case of emergency! I like to place my birdbaths in some shade with good visibility for the birds and for me and close accessibility to water. Last summer these birdbaths were lifesavers for the many birds near my home. Try it out!

What kind of birdbaths do you have in your garden?

in the garden....


  1. Just shallow dishes...I am still looking for a birdbath that I love as much as the the meantime I have a mister setting on the hose that I turn on when it gets really dry...they love to fly through the mist.


  2. I just have a regular ol' concrete birdbath.

  3. I have two concrete bird baths in my gardens. One is smaller than the other, so the robins tend to gravitate towards the bigger one.

    I never thought of dishes and things, but maybe I should. I'm sure the toads and dragonflies would enjoy it as well!

  4. Gail, I love those misters as much as the birds; which reminds me I need to water:(

    Jillybean, Good morning! Concrete works great.

    Cinj, Yes, do try some shallow dishes. Toads do love them and I have a FUNNY story about a toad here, also soon to update you all on the tads. They are thriving. But try it out. Even plant saucers work well.

  5. Wow you do have a collection of birdbaths! I just have the rustic one in my birdbath garden. Coneflowers, a butterfly bush, and salvias are all around it.

  6. We had a concrete bath in the front yard but it was old and feel aprat. I suppose they may just use the pool now, it is harboring the tadpole after all.

  7. I don't have one yet, just the wantabee pond and I've seen them bathe in that. Cute.

  8. Maine blogger....thanks for your comments on mine...these are wonderful pics on son is in Tn...between Nashville and my heart is there also...we are getting rain...we need to hay so will be glad when it clears...

  9. Hi Margo and welcome to my daughter's blog who was brought up in Maine! Were are you in Maine, I am in Harpswell. Guess I will have to check out your blog and then I may know where you are! I wish we would get some rain. Thunder storms yesterday, all around us, but got about 2 mintues of rain here. In 2 months we have had less than an inch. It is terrible in Harpswell.

  10. Good morning everyone! We finally had almost an inch of rain late yesterday evening! I was so excited that I sat on the front porch rocking in the chair while it came down at a steady great soaking pace! Everything looks so green this morning and smells so fresh. It was nice to not have to water first thing this morning.

    I did however, dump all the birdbaths and fill with fresh water. Rain water can easily turn to algae.

    We have 2 Concrete, Terracotta (coated inside), some type of Metal bath, a table top dish with frogs on it that I keep on top of an old Milk Container. I also have a statue of St Francis in the flower garden. He is holding a dish that I keep filled with water but is not really a bath but I do see birds sipping from it. The birds also utilize 3 ant moats by taking a sip from them as they hang above the hummingbird feeders!

  11. Good morning. Great topic. Love your birdbaths! It is easy to overlook cleaning but so important. I have one concrete and several saucers. Hard to keep the dog from drinking out of the saucers.

    The robins enjoy mine so much. All the birds use them, some just to drink, but the robins just go nuts in the water. What fun to watch.

  12. Hey Dave, You will soon add more birdbaths I have no doubt. I like your garden for yours as it is ideal.

    Sarah, Pools are great. How are your tads doing? Mine now have legs. I will be preparing a post soon. It is so cool. I made sure to show them to all who ventured here on Saturday. I bet your older son likes it.

    Dawn, Wantabee Pond is its new name? Great name!

    Margo, Welcome! With your son in Tennesee you know Tennessee is pretty cool. I live northwest of Nashville but travel I40 all the way to North Carolina frequently. It is a nice area which we sometimes call the 'plateau'. Crossville has a super great flea market I love. Glad you got some rain. We are hoping for some too.

    Mom, Still hoping for some rain for you. Hard to believe it is nearly July. Really hard to believe. Hopefully we'll get some before the fall!

    Skeeter, Yeah! for the rain! Glad someone got some.

    Roses and Lilacs, Those robins sure seem to love the birdbaths and are so funny! I don't know why I never knew this before moving here. I bet your kitties like watching them. Mine tries to kill my little birds. She is such a bad kitty.

    I got to see ALL the gardens on the tour. I must say I was quite impressed by them all and the gardeners. I hope to prepare two posts. One with the gardeners speaking of their gardens themselves, and one with my take on it all. This tour was so fun and I think I would do it again in a minute-ummm-actually about in 10 years. ttyl

  13. I will have to do a post on birdbaths and link to you! I need to go clean mine right now! I like to catch the birds 'bathing'. They are funny to watch aren't they?

  14. i have lots of bird feeders but no baths mabe i should look into that

  15. Hi Layanee in sunny New England, The birds are SO fun to watch. They always amaze me.

    Stephanie, Bird baths are great in the garden, and welcome to in the garden. You should definitely put out a dish or two.

  16. RAIN, RAIN, RAIN!!! We have been getting rain for 2 hours. A nice slow gentle rain so probably will not amount to a lot but better than nothing. I do hope it is not raining in Boston. Terri-Lynn took the girls down to a Red Sox game. They are huge Red Sox fans and the girls have never seen a major leauge game. So exciting for them. She got an extra ticket and wanted me to go but those days are over for me. They have 2 hotel rooms and will come home tomorrow. They drove to Portland and took the train and will use cabs in Boston. Hope they win tonight (if they get to play)!!

    Dawn, you should check out the blog for margo. Flowers and crafts. A lot of quilts.

  17. Yeah Jean, you got rain.... We had another pop up shower this afternoon that left us with an additional 1/2 inch...I am sooo happy about that! I love my rain gauge as it keeps up with my rainfall then I know when I have to water....

  18. Hi guys, late night tonight, Zack had a ballgame, did I mention he made the alstars! Gosh! Will the season ever end!
    Mom, I surprised you haven't had rain, we've had summer soaks everyday for a week and a half now. Hail last Thur! Lighting that hit a chimney and cause a fire with the wiring of a apartment blg. Yes, he is a customer. Zack was downtown with a friend and was fearful, had never seen hail, let alone that big. Fire, ambulance, whole nine yards, traffic backed for miles. I visited Margo this afternoon and will go again.

  19. Hi Tina --all these bird baths make me feel like such a slacker, lol. The birds swoop in and sip off the pool sometimes. I think someone in the neighborhood must have several feeders and bird baths. We have a ton of healthy looking birds out here. We had baseball for Sidekick tonight and then off to a Boy Scout meeting for Boy 2. Tomorrow is Girl model's baseball game and of course the weekly trip to the library. We didn't have any rain out my way --but it's nice to hear that Skeeter and Jean got much needed rain. I have the sprinkler set to water every morning --it takes the bill up but makes it easier --I only have to water the far away stuff --up by the treeline. Oh, and the CUTE fuzzy bunnies have made me think they might not be so cute, lol. They've eaten my bean plants:( I was wondering why we had this influx of bunnies --silly me --they sent the word out about my beans and peas growing by the house. Well, I need to finish a snail letter to my aunt in PA. I wish she'd get online --but she said she doesn't care for computers. So, I get to practice my handwriting. Have a great night y'all!

  20. Mom, That is so great! A slow gentle rain is the best kind. Hopefully it will continue and Terri and the girls stay dry. Sounds like a fun trip but I thought she had been to see the Red Sox. Maybe it was the girls.

    Skeeter, That is awesome! Glad someone is getting rain. I have been watering. Awful for the bill but worse to lose a nice plant.

    Dawn, Congrats to Zack. No, all stars means the season like never ends. Anonymous-are you listening? When sidekick makes all stars you'll be busy too! Zack has been sheltered in Maine to not have seen large hail. Happens all the time down here in the south. At first I thought you said Jack but then I had to relook. I know Jack of all Trades has seen hail and would not get frightened.

    Hey Anonymous, You have not been a slacker. You have a good bird feeder and that nice big pool. Cute fuzzy bunnies LOVE beans. Urrrr! This is what I hear. Got get boy 2 out there. He'll fix it.

    I want to say hello to Lola and Nina. Been missing you two. Nina came by on Saturday and I have a good pic of her, her daughter and Sarah (who was very sleepy). Her computer is still not working well. I did a terrible job taking pics of the garden tour and the other gardens but I did get Nina and her family. I am going to get the other gardeners to hopefully send me some pics (except the Halliburtons because I took a lot there today). Plus, Julie, one of the helpers, took good pics. We all had such a good time and I will prepare a post or to two to commemorate the day. Anyhow, long day planting and watering. night all.

  21. Well the rain lasted all of 4 hours and we got one eight of an inch, sigh, sigh, sigh. Tell you, it has been all around us for 2 weeks. Guess Mother Nature thinks all that ocean water is enough.

    Great going for Zack and tell him Mimi says to go get em!!

    Yes Tina, Terri-Lynn has been several times but not the girls. They lost 2-1 but they did see a good game but did'nt get to see a homerun. Oh well, just glad they got to go.

    I also miss Lola and Nina. Lola has been on but not as often.

    Hope all has a good night.

    Love the baths for your birds. I have a concrete one under the arbor. I do have another water stop for the birds. I've seen them take bathes in it & it is so funny to watch. It is a lid that came off a bucket of popcorn that the big box store has during the holidays. It seems to serve the purpose very nicely. I would like to get a couple more. Can't have too many sources of water for the birds & even the squirrels. I've never seen a squirrel drinking though. Maybe I'm not looking enough.
    We finally got some rain. A lot of thunder. The rain was most welcome as it is getting very dry here. A burn ban in effect. Too much under Pine trees as no control burn. This stuff builds up so when on fire it burns for days. Control burn should be done on regular basis to help from forest fires getting out of hand.

  23. You have a nice collection of birdbaths in your garden. Unfortunately, I don't have a bird bath, but my trees are homes to many cute bird nests.. and I have a bird feeder in the yard.

  24. Let me try this again. IE is acting up.

    Mom, Glad you got rain, no matter how little and also glad Terri and the girls saw a ballgame.

    Lola, Ditto on the rain. I hope you all don't get any fires this year like you have had in past year. Lids from buckets are great for the birds and toads.

    DP, You would love watching the birds frolic in the water. Even a simple dish or lid works. Try it out.

  25. You do have a lot of birdbaths, Tina! Our stone disappearing fountain has attracted types of birds we never saw at the regular bird baths. One is hypertufa and the other is concrete. Some days they're filled two or three times.

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  26. There are 5 birdbaths in my japanese garden. Various kinds of birds come. Please see a picture of the bird and biardbaths in my blog.

  27. Hi Annie, I bet you are filling up those birdbaths alot in Texas for sure! It has even been hot here. I wonder why the disappearing fountain attracts more types of birds?

    Hi there iyasaka in Japan and welcome! I did visit your blog but it did not translate for me and while I could see many pictures and some writing, it was not readable. Is it my language translator do you think? Thanks for visiting!

  28. Tina I tried to check out the blog in Japan also and it did not translate it either.