How to Make a Garden Planter and Birdbath
Make your garden structures work double- (or even triple-) duty. Terra-cotta pots provide the building blocks for this all-in-one planter, birdbath, and lantern.
Combine three terra-cotta pots and a saucer to make a garden accent with multiple purposes: Filled with lush plantings, it features a birdbath by day; float candles in it to make a glimmering lantern by night, letting the white-flowering plants add to the candlelight glow. What’s more, the planter/ lantern is portable. Set it in the garden or on a patio, deck—or wherever it will work best for you. It can be dismantled easily, unplanted, and put away for winter storage.
Use the terra-cotta pots au naturel, or prime and paint them to suit your garden style. Spray-paint pots with a coat or two of spar urethane to seal and protect the finish if desired. Birds need a clean place to drink and bathe, so scrub the saucer regularly and refill it with fresh water every other day. Situate the birdbath in a place where it will be accessible to birds and close to nearby shrubs or trees.
Tip: When you entertain outdoors on a summer evening, move the planter/lantern near the entrance to your garden to provide a welcoming glow. Never leave burning candles unattended. Unless you plan to keep an eye on the floating candles, use battery-powered LED tea lights. Instead of water, fill the saucer with pea gravel and snuggle the lights among the rocks.