Landscape Around a Birdbath in Your Cottage Garden: 7 Ideas

If you’re short on time these days and just want a birdbath in your garden for decorative purposes solely, I’ll give you some ideas on how to landscape around it.

Keep in mind, you can have a beautiful birdbath with lovely flowers around it AND have birds in your birdbath.

But you have to choose the right ones.

I’ll show you how to do that too.

I have some ideas for decorating around your birdbath, regardless of what your purpose is.

If you want more info on where to position a birdbath in your cottage garden to attract birds and all sorts of other tips, see my blog HERE.

If you want some inspiration on how to landscape around your birdbath, keep reading!

For my favorite ideas on how to make your cottage garden charming, see my blog HERE.

Plant a Stunning Mix of Flowers Around Your Birdbath

Landscape Around Your Birdbath in Your Cottage Garden - Flowers

A birdbath tucked into a lovely mix of flowers in a cottage garden.

I have a simple but gorgeous birdbath in my garden that birds NEVER come to nor will they ever, I expect.

(Keep reading to the bottom for more on this. Suffice it to say, NEVER say NEVER.)

The flowers around the base are stunning but they’re too tall.

A bird would feel threatened bathing in my birdbath.

A cat or other predator could be lurking among the flowers.

I have been so overwhelmed with work over the last few years, I haven’t cared.

I haven’t had time to keep the water fresh or clean the birdbath.

So I created a beautiful area with my birdbath – tall wispy flowers, containers, obelisks, and a bench.

I decided it wasn’t the right time in my life to take care of the birds.

I can see it when I pull up in the driveway and out of my bathroom window.

I just love this spot in my garden, even minus the birds.

When the flowers die back in winter, the birdbath is still so pretty.

You can create the same feeling in your garden by planting gaura, black-eyed susans, shasta daisies, sage, or coneflower at the base of your birdbath.

I have ‘Ruby Slippers’ hydrangeas planted behind but you could plant the hydrangeas of your choice.

However, if I had been willing to replenish the water every couple of days and clean the birdbath itself once a month, I could have chosen different flowers to plant at the base of the birdbath and still have an amazing garden spot PLUS have beautiful birds frequenting my birdbath.

Instead of the tall flowers, you can choose geraniums, dianthus, ice plant, alyssum, or creeping phlox.

Keep with planting shorter flowers around your birdbath and plant a small tree or taller shrub nearby (but not directly over the birdbath).

This gives the birds an escape outlet in the case of a threat.

If birds aren’t coming to your birdbath despite your best efforts, see my blog HERE!

Choose a Fountain Birdbath to Attract Birds and Romance

If you want to be certain birds are going to notice your birdbath, choose a fountain birdbath.

The birds are more likely to hear the sound of the water, see the movement of the water, and come near to check it out.

It will also be easier to keep clean because the water will never be stagnant.

And maybe the best reason to have a water feature in your birdbath is that it deters mosquitos from breeding in your birdbath.

Boom. Enough said.

You have two options here: 1. Buy a birdbath with a water feature included. 2. Add a water feature to a birdbath you already own.

Option 2 is not always possible. It will depend on the birdbath, but it’s worth a bit of research.

I love the sound of the water in my garden maybe more than the birds do and of course, the beauty of the fountain goes without saying.

The sound of the water plus some flowers at the base of the birdbath fountain is a recipe for romance in the garden.

Add a bench where you can enjoy it and to rev up the romantic mood.

For more ideas on how to add romance to your cottage garden, see my blog HERE.

A fountain birdbath is a step up in all regards from a mere birdbath on its own.

Attract Birds and Charm with a Small, Low Birdbath

Landscape Around a Birdbath in the Cottage Garden - Low Birdbaths

This low-lying birdbath is charming with or without the birds.

Shorter birdbaths are great for attracting birds because they more closely resemble a mud puddle – a bird’s natural birdbath.

In my front garden, I have a small birdbath that is only about 6 inches off the ground.

It is darling, even in winter.

My guests see it as they are approaching the front steps.

I have some ‘Knock-Out’ roses planted behind it along with some ‘Dwarf Hamelyn’ fountain grass.

The problem with mine is the taller shrubs surrounding it so closely.

They are a cause for concern for the safety of birds.

If my goal was to attract the birds, I would need to move the birdbath out into a more cleared area with a small tree or taller shrub nearby to escape to.

(Mine are too close and provide a potential hiding spot for predators. It sounds scary but we’re talking about house cats here, most likely.)

Cleaning the water and the birdbath routinely would also be expected.

(To learn how to clean your birdbath, see my blog HERE.)

For added charm, I could place the birdbath in a patch of moss or on top of some creeping jenny.

It could still be beautiful with the bonus of beautiful birds!

Create a Focal Point with a Lovely Birdbath in your Garden

You can make a big deal out of your birdbath because IT IS A BIG DEAL!

As are its visitors!

So create a focal point with the birdbath.

Set it out by itself.

Surround it with low-growing flowers.

Put a stone path around it.

Plant a small tree or tall shrub to the side of the stone path to provide an escape for the birds.

Place a bench under the tree.

Now you have a lovely high-impact spot in your garden, a great area for your birds to bathe and drink and play, and a bench to rest and enjoy the scene.

Honestly, even without the birds, this would be gorgeous. And it will continue to shine in winter.

A Birdbath on a Stake is Easy and Oh-So-Cute in the Garden

If all the above sounds like too much work, simply add a birdbath on a stake to your garden.


Pull all the mulch back, dig down a little into your soil, then insert the stake, making sure it is level.

Secure it by replacing the soil and the mulch.

If you are trying to attract birds, choose a spot that is out in the open a bit with a tree or tall shrub nearby.

Shade is best.

If you are simply using the birdbath for garden décor, place it among some flowers like black-eyed susans or salvia.

A birdbath on a stake is as easy as it comes without sacrificing any charm.

A Hanging Birdbath is Easy, Easy, Easy

Landscape Around Your Birdbath in Your Cottage Garden - Hanging Birdbath

Hang a birdbath in your cottage garden for all the charm.

I know I said a birdbath on a stake was easy, but a hanging birdbath is even simpler.

It’s easy on the labor, easy on the budget, and easy on the eyes!

Find a tree limb to hang it from and you’re done.

Birds may not feel it is safe enough to visit with the tree limbs overhead, but you never know.

They may fear predators lurking in the tree above but the birdbath will be the epitome of charming even without the birds.

If you don’t have any trees in your garden, attach a hook to a fence post or deck post and hang the birdbath from the hook.

You may find it to be a perfect spot for the birds.

Add a Birdbath Pan to a Tree Stump for Birds and Beauty

You can place a birdbath pan on a tree stump and possibly attract more birds than ever.

It would be a natural environment for the birds and could be extremely attractive to them.

Plus if the stump is lower to the ground, it may better simulate a mud puddle.

Add some low-growing flowers, keep the water fresh, and the birdbath pan clean.

Simple, pretty, and budget-friendly.

Use Your Birdbath as a Planter for Flowers

Landscape Around Your Birdbath in Your Cottage Garden - Birdbath as a Planter

Plant flowers in your birdbath to create a gorgeous focal point.

If you are sure you have given up on the birdbath-attracting-birds idea, or if you have an old birdbath that doesn’t hold water anymore, consider planting flowers in your birdbath.

My friend does this every year and it is crazy pretty.

I would place the birdbath in part sun.

The depth of your soil will be limited so I don’t think you will be able to handle full sun in the summer heat unless you’re willing to water twice a day.

Choose annuals that can handle the shallow soil.

This may be a trial-and-error experiment for you.

My friend grows bougainvillea in one of hers and petunias in another.

Simple, basic petunias in a birdbath make for a gorgeous display, but there are so many options!

Browse your local garden store and find what you LOVE then bring it home and plant it in your birdbath.

You can’t lose.

Wrap It Up

Birdbaths are a win in the cottage garden whether birds frequent them or not.

Do your best to attract the lovely birds, but if you can’t, you aren’t losing.

The birdbath is gorgeous on its own!

Happy Birdbathing!


P.S. – I posted this at about 11:00 on a Saturday morning.

Around 2:00 I heard a chirping out my bathroom window.

You guessed it – a bird in my NEVER birdbath playing and mocking me.

(See my first subheading above about planting a mix of flowers around the base of your birdbath)

We have been rain-less for several weeks.

I had just watered my plants and flowers and must have filled up the NEVER birdbath.

Either this bird just read my blog post and wanted to teach me to never make absolute rules about nature, or perhaps he was desperate for water and settled for my offering.

Either way, it was ironic timing. He was definitely a treat and I have been scrubbing and refilling my NEVER birdbath ever since. 🙂

Tracy Crosland, owner of Hey Honeysuckle

Written by Tracy Crosland

I was born and raised in small town, Tennessee. As an adult, I found myself thrown into the construction business, building new homes in our little town. My son has now taken over the business, which means I do what I want - a lot of playing in my cottage flower garden (zone 7). I hope you feel the love in my garden and in my blogs and that we can be friends.

For more about me, click HERE.

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My Step-by-Step Guide to Creating Your First Cottage Garden

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Cottage gardens make me happy!
I want you to be happy too…so this one’s on me.

  • Learn to create your first cottage garden with step-by-step instructions
  • A checklist to keep you on track
  • Images to inspire
  • Increase the value of your home by thousands
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I want to be happy! Give me the guide!


My Step-by-Step Guide to Creating Your First Cottage Garden

My Step-by-Step Guide to Creating Your First Cottage Garden

Cottage gardens make me happy!
I want you to be happy too…so this one’s on me.

  • Learn to create your first cottage garden with step-by-step instructions
  • A checklist to keep you on track
  • Images to inspire
  • Increase the value of your home by thousands
  • Explode your happiness quotient
  • Oh, yeah. It’s free! Free happiness.