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Serene Solar Birdbaths and Water Gardens

Serene Solar Birdbaths and Water Gardens

What is it about flowing water that is such a balm for the soul? Having just spent a week’s vacation at the ocean staying on a salt marsh, I think I can authoritatively say that the idea has merit and the idea of having this in my yard is inspiring.

Joyfully I’ve been learning that solar is now a successful choice to power backyard ponds, fountains and bird baths. The benefits of using solar are multiple, including that now you might just do the project! I don’t know about you, but I have shied away from using electricity in the yard because of the expense of hiring an electrician, expectation of electrical outages, and more recently, because of the energy footprint. Now, tada, I can explore electricity-free systems for fountains and birdbath heaters, my two interests.

On a sunny day, small solar water panels can pump 900 gallons of water and lift the water up to 200 feet for a fountain! Medium versions can pump 5 gallons a minute. There seems to be no limit to how large a solar water pump can be if you want a huge fountain. Let me just say here that I personally am not interested in a 200-foot high fountain! I’m more the type who likes water gently flowing over rocks. The point is, that solar gizmos these days can really power just about anything you could want.

One tip for when you are investigating solar water panels: Make sure that the type you buy has adequate storage of energy, at least for three to 10 days. There are a number of other tips for backyard water gardens online, including specific directions for how to build a solar powered water fountain.

Some good resources for buying solar products for the home include Solarhome.org, and others such as Solar-Stream.com, and Solardyne.com.

Birdbaths
I am in love with birds in my yard. Betsy Stang, our feng shui blogger, says that if you want abundance, “feed the earth, feed the birds.”

Solar-powered bird baths can accomplish a number of different functions. The first is to move water, which can be done with a solar water pump. You can establish a fountain, or just a drip system. Birds are drawn to moving water, so this system is a boon.

Another is to light up the bird bath using solar energy at night so that you can watch the birds during the night hours.

And a third is for those of you in cold climates, which is a way to heat the water to keep it from freezing. Birds have to keep their feathers clean no matter what the time of year. Having flowing water for your local birds when the temperature is zero is a gift for them and I expect you will have many visitors if you do this.

Birdbaths can have the solar panels integrated with the design, or separate from the birdbath. The former has to be in the sun, the later can mean that the solar panels are in the sun but the birdbath can be in the shade.

Check to make sure the birdbath fountain can be used in the winter if you are in a cold climate.

Squidoo (a Web site like About but with a social mission) offers some good resources for solar birdbath and birding water supplies; and here is a good blog about the general characteristics of a good birdbath.

Lastly, if you have a pool, consider using solar to give yourself a heated swimming pool! The resource given there is in the UK. Don’t you love the picture?

Read more: Home, Lawns & Gardens, Nature & Wildlife, Reduce, Recycle & Reuse

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Annie B. Bond

Annie is a renowned expert in non-toxic and green living. She was named one of the top 20 environmental leaders by Body and Soul Magazine and "the foremost expert on green living." - Body & Soul Magazine, 2009. Learn Annie's latest eco-friendly news on anniebbond.com, a website dedicated to healthy and green living.

12 comments

+ add your own
3:10AM PDT on Mar 28, 2012

Thanks for posting.

4:26PM PDT on Apr 21, 2011

I like the creative idea of using solar panels to move water with a pump. As I am aware of, making them yourself isn't that hard of a task. But if you are interested in solar energy visit my blog diy home solar panels

2:03PM PST on Jan 7, 2011

Very nice. Thanks.

7:39PM PDT on Sep 24, 2010

I personally think this is a good post thanks for the great content. Anthony Hunter

http://yourownsolarpanels.blogspot.com/

7:25PM PST on Mar 3, 2010

This is nice to know about, thank you.

5:56PM PST on Jan 16, 2010

I love a tiny indoor one that we have, the sound of trickling water is very calming.

11:12AM PST on Dec 19, 2009

We have birdbaths in my back yard. Of course the birds never use it because we also have a cat waiting to kill them..... And we also have a sort of artificial waterfall/stream fountain that keeps leaking somewhere.... hmm..

6:32PM PDT on Sep 3, 2009

I love my garden. Nothing compares with a nice afternoon in my garden while reading Dostoyevsky. :)
I do have an solar operated pond pump, but I didn't built it myself. I hired the Dallas Landscape Design contractor for it. Didn't cost me that much... and works wonderful.
This is their site, if you think would help you: Dallas Landscape Design

6:31PM PDT on Sep 3, 2009

I love my garden. Nothing compares with a nice afternoon in my garden while reading Dostoyevsky. :)
I do have an solar operated pond pump, but I didn't built it myself. I hired the Dallas Landscape Design contractor for it. Didn't cost me that much... and works wonderful.
This is their site, if you think would help you: http://www.dallaslandscapedesign.org/

9:00PM PDT on May 2, 2009

i saw on some website where they made their own solar operated pond pump. i hope i bookmarked it and it's still there...i do love the picture! using electricity from the house scares me and this seems a much better idea!

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