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Water basins for birds or you to enjoy.

Water basins for birds or you to enjoy

There's hardly a garden that wouldn'tbenefit from the sight of water. And as these pictures show, it doesn't take much water, effort, or expense to achieve satisfying results. You can enjoy water receptacles simply as decorative additions, or, with a little more thought, use them to attract birds and other wildlife.

Water that gurgles, trickles, or splashes ismost effective in attracting birds. If cats are a problem, elevate the basin or put in at least 6 feet from shrubbery and other hiding places. Drinking and bathing water for birds need to be clean and shallow-- preferably no deeper than an inch. Put it in partial shade so it doesn't get too hot.

It's easy to hollow out bamboo for use aspiping: just ram a metal rod through it to puncture the joints. Then run water to it either through spaghetti tubing connected to a faucet or a drip system, or by choosing a piece of bamboo that will fit over the end of your hose.

To conserve moisture, hook up the systemto a pump on a timer or turn on a hose valve manually at certain times each day--early morning and late afternoon are when birds are most active. Set the water flow at a very slow trickle. Channel the overflow to irrigate nearby plants or run into a larger pond.

To keep water in a bowl or saucer cleanenough for birds or other animals to drink, every day or two you'll need to empty the bowl, brush or hose it clean, and refill it. Avoid glazed surfaces-- they're too slippery. One way to keep water fresh longer is to set the bowl, saucer, or cupped rock where your sprinklers will fill it with about an inch of water every day or two.

The sunken basin below is just ornamental--it's too deep to make a good birdbath. To clean it, skim the top or empty it every few weeks with a siphon.

Photo: Natural stone basin collects a slow trickle of water from bamboo spout fed by a spaghetti tube. Mondo grass, ferns, and leopard plant grow between rocks

Photo: Large, shallow bowl (actually a pot saucer) servesas reflecting pool and birdbath. Steppingstones and low-growing plants keep any prowling cats visible

Photo: An old washbasin sunk into the ground forms a child's wishing well. She chose baby's tears, ferns, and violets to plant around it. Mosquito fish in water keep mosquitoes from breeding
COPYRIGHT 1987 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1987 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Sunset
Date:Jul 1, 1987
Words:411
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