Then I noticed bits of viola petals floating in the birdbath and that there is a path...
I do not believe the wind blew viola petals all the way over here.
I think they fell from deer lips.
Water drips into a depression in a rock for a natural birdbath.
I used bamboo when I had some. It eventually rots.
A length of PVC pipe attached to a rebar post stays in place much better, if not aesthetically pleasing.
One day I might paint it as faux bamboo.
Deer have followed this path for years. They come from the woods, go to the fields and cross the dirt road, eventually crossing another highway and going to a creek a mile away. When the creek dries up sometimes this is the only water for a long way.
The viola pots are now in the back beside Ike the Cat's greenhouse 'porch' where they're less a temptation to ranging deer because the path to them would pass where Buffy the Dog sleeps. No harm done, they'll fill out again quickly.
This pot was in the back and flowers were not eaten.
If you can't read it in this light, it says 'THYME'
One last thing: I flattened some spoons from the dollar store in a vise and pounded herb names onto them with letter stamps from a tool store. Old silverplate might make nicer markers than stainless. Rubbing the names with ink or paint to darken them is a good idea, I forgot. Deer do not bother herbs.
Secrets of a Seedscatterer