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Copper Sprinkler Works Blog - From Our Garden to Yours
Tuesday, 19 June 2012 00:00

Spruce up an ordinary bird bath

We had been selling sprinklers and small indoor fountains at art and garden shows for a while when one of our customers asked if we had ever made a fountain for a bird bath.  You could have heard us smack our heads ala "I could have had a V8!" (no promotional value for V8 here - we're just saying...).  <

Charlie went back to his workshop and created two models - the single morning glory and the double morning glory.  They've been used in a variety of settings - bird baths, ponds, and indoor installations where a little water splash isn't a major concern.

We were a bit skeptical when we set the first one up in our backyard nearly ten years ago.  Would birds like it? Could/would they use it? There were no "takers" for a couple weeks, but as the birds adjusted to the new element in our yard, they started to hop on the flowers and take sips of water. Over the years, we've watched lots of birds (particularly chickadees and finches) take baths perched on the fountain flowers and rocks under the water streams.  Even robins get in on the action. Robins take full advantage of any water available to them when they are bathing (they are great fun to watch; as a heads-up, the water supply in the fountain usually needs to be replenished after these bad boys take their baths.

Currently, our bird bath sits under our dining room window. From there, we can watch birds come and go for their water routines (and to eat from the feeders).

If you are installing a fountain in a bird bath, you will need one that is at least four inches deep so that the pump is covered. We place rocks in the bottom of our bird bath to help stabilize the copper artwork, but more importantly, to give our bird friends a place to land.

See our two copper fountains here.

Published in Not just for the birds
Saturday, 16 June 2012 09:35



Copper Sprinkler Works is the “company name” for the artwork produced by Charles McConkie. The writer of this blog (and probably most to come) is Kate Reck. I’m Charlie’s wife – or as I used to say at the art fairs, I’m the one who “sleeps with the talent.” (It wasn’t too risqué at the art shows - hope it translates okay here, too!)

We decided to take to the social media waves because we miss the “people-meeting” that came with going to art fairs and other public events with Copper Sprinkler Works in its earlier years. Many of Charlie’s ideas were sparked by conversations he had with folks who visited us in our booths.

And, we realized that a blog could be a fun and down-to-earth way of getting to know others who are interested in gardening, art, and anything that may be related to those two things.

Hence, the title, “From Our Garden to Yours.”

I’ve always been interested in gardening and sustainable living, but kids and life got in the way. Now the kids are on their own and I have the time and land to bring those interests back into my life. Over the winter, while Charlie was busy in his shop, I pulled out my old books on gardening, plant stores, and sustainable living. Going forward, I'll also use the Internet to find sites that offer new ideas.

I'll share our exploration of the five acres of land we call home – it was once planted by a phenomenal gardener and then neglected for years by later owners.

There are flowers everywhere on our property that are vaguely familiar to me and need researching. There are garden beds to be unearthed from years of neglect. There are new technologies to try and new ideas to hear.

And there is my husband (Charlie!) who is able to create absolutely breath-taking pieces (mostly flora-based) out of metal.

Please come back and follow our blog. I look forward to trying science experiments (what turns copper green the quickest?), figuring out how to get rid of the slugs in my hostas, and what great new artwork can be used in a garden setting (sometimes Charlie’s items, but there are lots of other artists’ ideas to share).

And, I will start my flower journal on documenting the flowers and plants we inherited and find.

Finally, we invite you to share with us your ideas – that’s the primary reason for this blog. To get a network of folks sharing ideas about gardening; landscaping; birding; sustainable living; and, of course, Charlie’s art.   I hope to get new ideas and suggestions from this community to use in our landscaping. We’ll be sure to share the before/after pictures when we put something into motion.

Thanks for joining us. It’s going to be a great adventure.


Published in Miscellaneous
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