How to create a backyard attraction for neighborhood birds.

This water feature uses a pump to recirculate the water. The water is stored in a basin that sits just below ground level. The basin has a perforated top that supports the gravel and the blue pot. The pump pushes water through a tube that goes into the blue pot. Water overflows onto the gravel and percolates back into the basin. To see how it comes together, take a look at my Flickr slideshow, also shown at the end of this post.

Four years ago, I built a small water feature in our back yard. It was a blue ceramic pot that overflowed onto a bed of gravel that concealed a reservoir. It was nice, but the scale wasn’t quite right. It didn’t seem to have enough space around it. The surrounding plants engulfed it; the lawn threatened to grow right up to the pot. Plus, the whole thing was jury-rigged and fragile. When I built a new patio last fall, I decided it was time to remodel the water feature, making it more sturdy and integrating it with the patio. Plus, I had a client who wanted a similar feature for her yard, so I was looking for a more professional solution.

For my client, I used the same system to create a bubbling birdbath with a ceramic saucer as the basin. Instead of a large pot, her water feature is a shallow, bird-friendly pool that overflows from a pedestal.

Turns out that there are many kits that make it easy to create water features. The Poppy Fountain is one of the simplest; for something larger, consider the Flexible Pond Kit. It comes with everything you need to make a little backyard oasis.

Poppy Fountain

My project took the better part of an afternoon, and you can see it come together on a Flickr slideshow, below. Just click on the photo to get the captions. After a week or two, I’ve seen very little bird activity at my fountain. My client hasn’t seen much either. We’re hoping that it just takes a little time for the birds to get used to things. Plus, we haven’t had a day without rain for so long, the birds aren’t looking for any baths.

 

-David Grist, Online Content Coordinator

Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.