I’m very excited that we’ll be adding a water feature to our garden this year, in time for spring migration! I’ve had a bird bath out for several years, but have always wanted something more substantial than that.Not having any experience with water features, I wasn’t really sure what would work for us and where a good location in the yard would be.
Last year we cut out 650 sq ft of lawn with the thought of planting a new garden bed there. Later on, after admiring the waterfall garden at Wood Lake Nature Center, it ocurred to me that this might be a good spot for a pondless stream/waterfall. It’s on a slope and is a pretty good sized area. Rather than just having another big wall of plants, this will give it more visual interest as well as really complete our wildlife habitat. Moving water is a real bird magnet, and should attract species that wouldn’t come to feeders, especially during migration.
After the lawn was cut out, I quickly filled it in with compost and then mulched it. Along the fence I planted some shrubs (snowberry and dogwood). I put up a wood duck box, since my neighbor has one and gets wood ducks, but his box isn’t well protected from predators. Then I added a small walking path, and later put out some ground level bird baths to see if any birds would be interested.Even without moving water, we still got some birds, including bluebirds, cedar waxwings, robins, etc. So I think it showed that it’s a good location, and with the addition of moving water, the birds will really come in!
In the front, we’re going to add a new garden bed where the red oak used to be (cut down due to oak wilt.) And we decided we’ll plant a new tree, a bur oak this time. It will be more toward the middle of the yard because the city requires a new tree to be planted 15′ back from the curb. Bur oaks grow slowly, but have a lot of wildlife value and are more resistent to oak wilt.
Other projects I have planned include painting our shed, and adding a new path so parts of the garden are more accessible. And of course I plan to spend a lot of time enjoying our new water feature! We will have another garden tour/social in July so stay tuned….