With low branches of adjoining aspen trees for a quick escape, over 70 species of wild birds feel at ease drinking and bathing in this garden.
The old stump was hollowed out to a depth of 6 inches alternately with a chain saw and hammer and chisel. Holes were drilled for drainage. Then the cavity was filled with alfalfa pellets (my single, all-purpose, complete, slow-realease, long-lasting, organic fertilizer) and topped with a layer of pea-size gravel into which the 14-inch-diameter, plastic saucer was nested. When it rains or when I freshen the water in the bird bath, water filters down through the gravel and activates the alfalfa, flushing it out through the drainage holes to fertilize the plants that surround the old stump. This is important because the action of the decay organisms working on that old stump extracts nitrogen from the surrounding soil, creating a nutrient deficiency in my plants. The alfalfa counteracts that deficiency and also provides the nitrogen the decay organisms need for their life processes.