Birdbath Water Garden
Have you given any thought to transforming your birdbath into a water garden? Well I have, and after a couple of years experimenting with various aquatic plants, I’m sharing my ideas here.
This is a birdbath that I converted into a water garden, and you’d be surprised how simple it is. Choose a complementary pot to go with the birdbath, then choose your aquatic plants to fit inside the planter.
Aquatic Plant: Lobelia x gerardii 'Vedrariensis' (Purple Cardinal Flower), which attracts hummingbirds.
Aquatic Plant: Colocasia (Elephant Ears), a dramatic foliage plant.
Aquatic Plant: Actaea simplex 'Black Negligee' (Black Bugbane). During the summer, this plant will product slender, white, fragrant, bottlebrush-like flowers.
Aquatic Plant: Iris ensata 'Variegata' (Japanese Water Iris) has striking green and white foliage.
Assembly: place a square piece of window screen (about 4” x 4”) over the hole in the bottom of your chosen planter. This prevents dirt from leaching into the birdbath and clouding the water. Plant the container with your favorite aquatic plants, pulling at the roots before installing so they take root quickly in their new home.
Once you’ve combined the plant materials, water the planter thoroughly before placing it in the birdbath so the plants are saturated beforehand.
Carefully place the planter in the birdbath and fill the bird bath. I top-dressed this planter with decorative stones.
The water in the birdbath stays clear because of the screen placed inside the planter before the plants are installed.
My birdbath base came with an option to install additional plant materials. I used Pachasandra in the pockets, a shade-loving ground cover. (These plants are watered separately from the birdbath by a small hole that accommodates a garden hose.)
This is the product I use to keep mosquitoes at bay: Mosquito Dunk (or a dusting of Mosquito Bits). Follow package directions carefully and use gloves when breaking the disks apart.
Add 1/4 disk of a Mosquito Dunk to the bird bath, which will not harm plants or wildlife.
Depending on the weather, I clean the water in the bird bath every 7-10 days (adding a fresh 1/4 disk Mosquito Dunk each time I change the water). Storms, pollen, summer temperatures and other environmental factors dictate when I change the water, but the screen in the bottom of the planter keeps the water fresh and clear. At the end of the summer, I transfer the plants from the container into a suitable landscape environment.
Resources for this project:
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Published June 20th, 2017 2:49 AM