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CREATING A GARDEN IN MINATURE

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Step by step instructions on how to create a birdbath planter.
Difficulty: Easy
I came away from my recent trip to Nova Scotia with a renewed fascination for some of plant world's smallest members.
Back home in Ontario, I have two miniature gardens that I created a few years ago using old concrete birdbaths.
I like the birdbaths because they bring these delicate looking plants up where you can best admire their texture and diminutive blooms.
I decided to create a third birdbath planter for the front garden.
Like most birdbaths, this terra cotta birdbath comes in two pieces. (purchased at Terra Nurseries in Milton, ON)
(Terra cotta will crack in winter, so this birdbath will need to be stored in a cool, dry place like a heated garage overwinter. So far (knock wood!), I have had not problems with my concrete birdbaths cracking in winter.)
To start your birdbath planter, fill the top saucer halfway with fine gravel. I used pea gravel, but if you can find a finer gravel, so much the better. (Note: I have never drilled a hole in the bottom of my birdbaths for drainage. The gravel alone seems to provide enough drainage.)
Find yourself an empty pot and mix together equal portions of fine gravel and a good quality top soil. Gauge the amount of topsoil/gravel mixture you need according to the size of your birdbath.
Now pour the gravel and topsoil mixture on top of your first layer of pea gravel. Ideally when you are finished pouring, the soil/gravel mixture should be just below the top lip of the birdbath.
Now you are ready to start planting.
For plantings suggestions please visit my Three Dogs in a Garden blog post. There is a link at the bottom of this Hometalk post.
Begin planting along the outer circumference of the top saucer. Plants that will trail or spill over the lip of the birdbath are a nice choice.
As you dig down carefully, you will displace some of the soil and gravel to make room for the roots of the potted plants you are adding.
Spread the displaced soil evenly, slightly mounding it up in centre. In doing so, you are creating a bit of a rounded mushroom shape. (If you need to, you can always discard some excess soil mix back into the terra cotta pot where you created your soil/gavel mixture.)
Top dress any gaps between your plants with a sprinkling of more gravel. Add any decorations you want. I added a trio of little ceramic mushrooms purchased at the Dollarstore.
Water well until your plants are established and enjoy!

To see more: http://threedogsinagarden.blogspot.ca/2014/06/creating-garden-in-minature.html

  • Barb Rosen
    Barb Rosen Wilmington, DE
    on Jun 28, 2014

    This little succulent birdbath is just cute as it can be!

  • Douglas Hunt
    Douglas Hunt New Smyrna Beach, FL
    on Jun 29, 2014

    Gorgeous. Beautiful combination of colors and textures.

  • Janice
    Janice Paducah, KY
    on Jun 29, 2014

    I love this idea!

  • Janice Riley
    Janice Riley Canada
    on Jun 29, 2014

    Will the plants die if they are left over winter in the bird baths?

    • Three Dogs in a Garden
      Three Dogs in a Garden Canada
      on Jun 30, 2014

      @Janice Riley Good question Janice. I covered winter protection more in my blog post: Usually I remove the saucer-like top of each of my concrete birdbaths and put them in a protected spot to overwinter. Last fall was hectic, however. I managed to remove only one of the two birdbath tops, and only got as far as placing it on the ground. As luck would have it, a winter long covering of snow protected this saucer. Unfortunately, the other birdbath top was left on its stand all winter and took a beating. Harsh winds and extremely cold temperatures ended up killing all its plants. Thankfully the birdbath top on the ground sprang back to life this spring.The moral of this story is: In areas as far north as zone 6b, all birdbath planters definitely needs some sort of winter protection. A terra cotta birdbath will crack in winter, so this type of birdbath will need to be stored in a cool, dry place like a heated garage overwinter. So far (knock wood!), I have had not problems with my concrete birdbaths cracking in winter.

  • Herlinda Sanchez
    Herlinda Sanchez Downey, CA
    on Jun 29, 2014

    nice, Love it,

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