Originally posted July 2011. Since this post was written, you can find a greater variety of similar portable solar fountain devices for your existing bird bath.
Although I admit I become excited about products that really work (especially anti-aging products!), I typically do not tout about them to extreme. However I have to brag about this one – the Universal Solar Pump Kit, manufactured by Outdoor Solar Solutions – Nature’s Foundry and sold by Amazon.com. I had been searching and searching for an all-inclusive solar fountain to place in my existing bird bath for many months with no luck. One day, I saw an ad on Amazon.com that was exactly what I was looking for.
You see, I wouldn’t mind having a fountain with a solar panel attached, but my elderly blind and deaf dog, Buzz, would certainly get all tangled up in the wiring and either rip it out of the ground, ricochet it out of the bird bath or stay bound and gagged for hours until I got home from work! (See https://natureisnurture.net/nose-knows-know-better/ .) Besides, who actually wants wiring in the landscape if you don’t need it?
While there does exist a few all-inclusive solar fountains for ponds (one shaped like a lily pad) they are quite large and aren’t recommended for use in shallow bird baths. Actually, Outdoor Solar Solution’s Universal Solar Pump appears to be able to function in bird baths shallower than mine. (Mine is about 4 inches deep.) In fact, I have added a few rocks to my bird bath to sit the fountain upon and stabilize it so that it isn’t submerged entirely. It still works when submerged, but I like it with the pebbles underneath. It seems to allow for better water flow, in my opinion.
A couple of other things to consider, which I personally don’t find to be negatives, are the solar panels on this device do not store up energy and you may have to clean the pump every now and then. Re the solar panels – at night, on cloudy days and if situated in the shade, the device will not function. Since I’m usually not out on the patio during the dark of night or hanging out in the yard too much on cloudy days – this doesn’t bother me. Re cleaning the pump – I consider this a maintenance issue that comes with the territory of owning water devices. I understand this as I have a 55 gallon aquarium and algae is the norm. Just a couple of things to keep in mind.
So, why would you want this device?
- Well I guess first you have to want a fountain. I wanted one.
- It’s inexpensive. Again, I wanted a fountain – but cheap. That is, I didn’t want to buy a brand new bird bath or other type of fountain. I wanted to use what I already had and convert it. This fits the bill.
- It doesn’t require wiring. No ugly wires and, best of all, no ugly wires that attach to your electrical outlets!
- It doesn’t need batteries.
- It comes with several different water dancing attachments, so you can customize to your preference.
- It keeps mosquitoes from breeding in my bird bath.
- It attracts more varieties of birds to my yard.
- It appears to keep the water a tad cooler for the birds to drink during the hot summer.
- It is pretty.
- Lastly, it is relaxing. Kind of like having your own backyard eco/sound therapy session!
The pics in this post are of my personal bird bath and fountain. I took a few when I first received the device a couple of months ago and I took one today.
So, if you wish to add a small water feature to your landscape just in time for your 4th of July backyard BBQ, you now have an inexpensive option. I certainly enjoy my all inclusive solar bird bath fountain, and I know my feathered friends do too!
Until next time,
Cindy, I see you planted Cape Honeysuckle while living in north Texas. I live in Houston and am interested in planting Cape Honeysuckle as a hedge, basically to block a view. Can you please advise me how far apart to plant the honeysuckle?
Hello! I love Cape Honeysuckle and I think you will, too. I must let you know that I bring mine in and out of the garage in the winter but, I think it will be fine in ground in Houston. Actually, I am considering planting mine in ground this year and just covering it when temps get really low. I have had mine for about 4-5 years and it has been transferred into larger and larger pots. Right now, I’d say my plant is about 6.5 feet tall in the pot – so probably around 5 feet tall. Considering this, I’d give the plants at least 2 feet between. The hedges I saw in Vegas were trimmed as you would a holly or boxwood. There were not as many blooms on the hedge in Vegas as I’ve experienced letting mine grow natural, but the hedges I saw were quite short. Still, the bright, tropical orange flowers all within the hedge made them much prettier than an ordinary one. I’d be interested in seeing a picture of your project once you get it in ground! Best wishes! Cindy