Water is a real asset in a garden, and a great way to encourage wildlife. Bird baths make a charming feature in any garden, whether yours is a contemporary or traditional space, and – along with well-stocked bird feeders – will increase both numbers and species. And it's not just birds who will be attracted to the water – damselflies, dragonflies and other beneficial insects will flock to it, too.
We almost always have a hand-picked selection of antique bird baths and water features in our courtyards, from small sandstone troughs to elegant, hand-carved limestone pieces. They’re all one-offs, sourced from farm sales and auction houses right across the country.
A bit of rough
Materials are an important consideration. Stone or terracotta are best for birds as their slightly rougher surface affords some grip. Stone bird baths stay cooler in the summer, and anything made from metal will be too hot for birds to perch on when the temperature soars.
Choose a quiet spot
Make sure your chosen spot is away from the main foot traffic in your garden – birds don’t like to be disturbed while they’re bathing. If you can place it in view of your windows or a favourite bench – sit quietly and you’ll get all the joy of seeing them splashing around in their natural habitat.
Positioning your bird bath out of the wind in a sheltered spot in your garden will encourage more birds to visit, too.
Shop our collection of antique, vintage and teak garden benches here.
Naturally, you’d think a smaller garden requires a smaller bird bath – but smaller examples will need refilling more often, particularly in the heat of summer. It doesn’t need to be deep – indeed, deeper water may discourage smaller birds.
Placing a stone or pebble for a perch in the centre is a good idea, so small birds can take a breather and splash in the shallows.
Distance from the ground will determine which birds use your bird bath. Those lifted above the ground on a plinth or similar are generally favoured over those which sit on the ground – birds naturally feel safer.
Birds love to have a 360-degree view while they’re feeding and drinking. Make sure you place your bird bath not too close to bushes and trees, where predators could lie in wait, but with enough cover so the birds can easily dart to and fro.
Keep it topped-up
Keep your bird bath topped up with fresh water – rainwater is best, from the tap will do just as well. Make it part of your daily watering routine in summer and break ice in winter. Do make sure you clean it regularly with a soft brush, too, to remove algae and other debris – no harsh cleaning products.
Our collection of vintage and antique bird baths is always changing. Check our stock here or visit our showrooms and courtyards in the glorious Worcestershire countryside where you'll find staddle stones, sundials, urns, sculpture, water features, large millstones, old stone troughs and gates and finials, plus other one-off garden antiques and garden art.
Our experienced team are always on hand to help you choose the right piece for your garden, and we handle all of our own nationwide deliveries ourselves, carefully carrying your purchase into place in your garden.
Looking for something particular? Call us on 01886 884665 and we'll be happy to help.