Paved with Green Intentions

DIY Garden Feature with a Birdbath

If you need some (almost) instant gratification, here’s one way to get it. By creating a DIY garden feature like this, you’ll also be keeping the birds happy. Pop down to your local Builders for bricks, cement and a pretty birdbath, and you’re all set to start.

Materials for your DIY Garden Feature

  • 80 clay bricks (circle)
  • 50 clay bricks (outer circle and path)
  • 6 bags river sand
  • 1 bag cement
  • 1 Adlus birdbath


spirit level
rubber mallet
bricklayer’s trowel
tamper (compacting tool)
builder’s line
wooden peg
chalk-line powder

diy garden feature

Step 1: Clear the area, turn the soil and rake it level. Knock a peg into the centre of the circle then attach one end of the builder’s line to the peg. Measure out one metre and use it to guide you as you mark out a circle with the chalk-line powder.

diy garden feature

Step 2: Spread a layer of river sand over the circle, level it, and then sprinkle cement powder over it. Rake to combine the sand and cement, make sure it is level and then wet with a fine spray of water. Compact it with a tamper.

Step 3: From the centre peg, leave a circle with a radius of 22,5 cm, then create the first circle, using 13 bricks. Tap the bricks into place with the mallet and make sure they are level. Continue laying the bricks according to the diagram. In the second and third rows the bricks are placed end to end. Row two uses 13 bricks, row three requires 16, and row four uses 38, which are placed outwards again.

diy garden feature

Step 4: Mix mortar of 1 part cement to 1 part sand, plus water, and use it to fill in the gaps and to lay a ‘collar’ around the edge to keep the bricks in place. This completes the cement work. An additional circle of about 40 bricks, about 50 cm from the edge, helps to define the area to be planted up around the circle. (We also used loose bricks to outline a path to the circle, and used bark chips for the surface of the path.)

diy garden feature
diy garden feature

Step 5: Place the birdbath in the centre of the circle.

diy garden feature

Finishing Touches

Plant up the area around the DIY garden feature, taking care to incorporate loads of compost into the soil in the planting holes. Water deeply and regularly for a few weeks until the plants are well established

The Gardener