People often ask which birdbath is best for their garden and their circumstances. In this post I outline the best way to choose the right birdbath, which can be purchased via our shop website: https://birdbaths.malleedesign.com.au/.
For most suburban gardens, where the gardener is interested in attracting more local birdlife, the default dish to choose is the large spun copper dish. This dish is recommended because it is wide enough for both medium and large birds to splash around in, even when a landing rock or platform is placed in the centre. Small birds will happily use the large-sized bath as well. The supplied mounting ring, which doesn’t have to be used, allows the dish to be easily mounted on any flat surface such as levelled stumps, rocks, retaining walls etc. A great way to mount the large dish is on the edge of a raised garden bed.
If budget allows, the large dish can be mounted on one of three steel stands each of different height. The medium height stand (76cm) is the most classically proportioned. It is just high enough to allow small shrubs or grasses to be planted underneath. The low stand (51cm) allows the dish to sit amongst low plantings, easily hiding the structure beneath it and giving it a floating appearance. The tall stand (1m) is designed to protect birdlife from pet dogs and cats that may deter birds from using the dish if placed any closer to the ground. The tall stand can also be used to float a dish amongst taller plantings.
The sandstone plinth is another option for mounting the large dishes and can be used two ways. Its commanding presence allows it to make a statement as a garden feature centred in an open courtyard or gardening space. Or, it can also be used to great effect positioned within a planted garden space, rising out of the ground with great confidence. Of course, sandstone is a fantastic complimentary material to native Australian plants too.
The medium dish is our most popular birdbath and is designed for those who have a smaller garden or who wish to spend a little less. The medium dish can accomodate the bathing needs of medium and small sized birds and is mounted in the same fashion as the large dish (it is also provided with a copper mounting ring). Like the large dish, the medium dishes can be supported by the small or medium height steel stands, but the tall stand is too high to offer pleasant proportions with the medium dish.
The mini dish is designed specifically to serve small birds. Because of its reduced size (and hence strength) the mini dish is very effectively tossed under small bushes where the smaller birds like to hide from predators. Of course, if you have stray cats visiting your garden, consider elevating it a foot or two at least. Again, a stump or perhaps an improvised mount made from branches may function well to hold the dish off the ground. The mini dish comes with a rubber support ring to assist mounting on any flat surface.
The extra large dish is a different beast. It is designed largely for dramatic effect. Carefully positioned in a garden it will serve as a reflection pool, allowing the eye to catch glimpses of trees silhouetted against the blue sky. With a mild breeze, the water in the extra large dish will ripple gently providing movement and interest for the garden wanderer. Of course, the extra large will also serve the needs of birds particularly if landing platforms are provided within it, such as a rock placed in the centre of the dish. Medium and large-sized birds are most likely to use the extra-large birdbath.