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Bird & bee sanctuary

Project ideas and inspiration from Good magazine

Beat the heat. Create a birdbath with a natural sandstone paint effect.

How to make a Bird & bee sanctuary for your garden

Top tip: Every few years, empty and clean the bird bath then re-apply Resene Aquapel & Terracotta Sealer. Allow to fully dry then give a quick rinse with water before filling with water.

Birds and bees need fresh water to drink to stay healthy, and birds also need water to help stay cool and to preen themselves. The late summer months can be tough for birds and bees when there are few natural water sources available.

Using a few upcycled items together with a special Resene paint, you can create a birdbath that will help your garden be more bird- and bee-friendly, as well as looking fantastic.

Resene Sandtex is a tough waterborne acrylic finish that is ideal for covering imperfect surfaces, protecting and enhancing any outdoor structures, and for creating a classic textured Mediterranean look. Resene Sandtex can be tinted to a muted shade such as Resene Quarter Napa or Resene Eighth Stonewall (used here) to create a natural sandstone effect.

You will need

A good host

Step by step instructions

Collect assorted small terracotta pots and saucers, or any unwanted or chipped plates, platters and bowls. Shallow metal dishes also work well.

Most natural sources of water for birds are on or near the ground, so keep your structure low. Choose a platter or plate as a sturdy base and a wide shallow dish for holding the water. Glue the items together using strong glue (don’t worry about any dribbles, it will add to the textured effect) and allow to fully dry.

Collect and glue vessels Collect assorted vessels, assemble into a structure and glue together using a strong glue.

Seal inside pots to make water tight Seal the inside of terracotta vessels with Resene Aquapel & Terracotta Sealer before using for water.

Paint outside with Resene Sandtex in the colour of your choice Paint the outside of the bird bath with Resene Sandtex tinted in a colour of your choice.

If using a terracotta vessel as your water dish, first seal the inside of it using Resene Aquapel & Terracotta Sealer. Saturate the surface, ensuring the treatment fully penetrates the base and sides. Allow to fully dry, then rinse with water before filling with water.

Paint the outer surface of your birdbath with a thick, dribbly coat of Resene Sandtex. I used Resene Eighth Stonewall for a natural sandstone look. Allow to dry before filling with water.

Words and styling Sarah Heeringa. Photography Amanda Reelick. 2020

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Colours shown on this website are a representation only. Please refer to the actual paint or product sample. Resene colour charts, testpots and samples are available for ordering online.   See measurements/conversions for more details on how electronic colour values are achieved.