So after yesterdays shopping trip was planted...I was off to the nurseries again, I missed a couple yesterday and today the butterflies won. Campanula gargancia "Dickens Gold", aquilegia "Lime Sorbet", Geum "cooky", glaucium corniculatum, and lysimachia congestiflora "walkabout sunset". I am now in the garden in the shade (it is 85 today) with my laptop enjoying the hummers. I know several people have commented on how to attract hummers. Here's where we came from.
Hummers are fun...the hubby and I were sitting here talking how they have their favorites and how some others they only visit now and then. We have Anna's all year round and then we have Rufus in the summer. Since we are in a milder zone I try to have things in bloom all the time, but it never fails, that their favorite things are not in bloom when they want them. That is the key though, is to have food when they are coming through or they will just keep going.
So I do have feeders as well. I have the cheap $7 feeders from Home Depot that are clear on the top and red on the bottom and the holes have white around them. If you get the ones with yellow it attacks the wasps. I mix 1 part sugar to 4 parts water and change it out depending on temperature. I hang my feeders by the windows in the house, but I have put them on hooks. If you do that to keep the ants away, every time the honey mows just put the fresh clippings around the base of the hook.
If you are trying to attract hummers red really is the key. Although several of the plants I have that are their favs are not red, I swear when the Rufus come through they drop out of orbit at the sight of red. I was reading an article and a lady was saying that she puts red table cloths on her tables during March/April and she has so many visitors she has 3 different clothes lines with about 50 feeders. That is crazy...I am really happy with my small group.
I started with salvia "lipstick red" and monarda "Jacob Cline".
There are so many different lists on hummingbird plants, these are the ones I have and have seen the hummingbirds eat from: Abelia, Ajuga, Althea, Astilbe, Azaleas, Asclepias tuberosa, Monardas, Begonia, Salvia, Canna, Lobelia, Aquilegia, Heuchera, Dicentra, Dahlia, Delphinium, Flowering Quince, Digitalis, Fuchsias, Fuchsia, Hardy, Geranium, Gladiolus, Hibiscus, Crocosmia, Leycesteria formosa, Alcea Rosea, Gaillardia, Mimulus cardinalis, Nicotiana, Petunia, Hemerocallis, Linaria, Potentilla , Lupinus, Iris germanica, hostas, Clematis, Chelone, Phlox, Sedum, Beloperone guttata, Campsis radicans, Scrophularia auriculata, Sarcococca ruscifolia, Tritoma, Verbascum, Veronica, and weigela.
There are so many different varieties in each family...I have found most of their favs also are some of mine. They love hosta guacamole, it has wonderful trumpet flowers, and the smell at night is something special. The agastache with scented leaves also seem to be favorites, like heather queen, sangria and black adder.
So start with some red, and then start mixing in some other things and see how it works for you. Different plants do better in different areas, and I would imagine different hummers have different tastes. Hopefully you will end up with some fighter pilots flying around and having dog fights in your yard.
So I was up early this morning...6am in the garden and the hummers were dog fighting. It was funny to see them fight over their favorite plants. Got some weeding done, filled the yard waste bin by 10am so my hubby and I rewarded ourselves for all the hard work. So we did the rounds of the nurseries. Five stops and new plants for my winged friends. I was telling my hubby that I needed more white flowers, because I didn't have many, although we when you are shopping for the hummers there just aren't many white plants. I came up with 2 orange and 2 red.
Here's today's haul.
For the hummers I got Agastache Navajo Sunset, Agastache Sangria, Schrophularia Red Birds in a Tree, Leonotis Savannah Sunset, and a couple of plants for my planter Tradescantia sillamontana and Setcreasea Purple Heart.
So planting tomorrow and in a week most will be blooming for my friends. I am always so picky buying plants, I try to get the ones with the most flowers that aren't open, that way they will bloom longer after I plant them. I just hate it when they only bloom for a week and then they are done and you have to a wait a year to see them again...no fun, so I leave the blooming ones in the store.
Looked at the reject plants, but there weren't any fun ones. It is supposed to be warm for the next week to two weeks so I think a shopping trip is due in a few weeks again. Nurseries are so bad at remembering to water plants in the heat and they hire dumb people who don't know what the blacked out sun means on the plant tag. Of course I am ok with that, since I can usually bring them back.
So it is such a nice day I brought the laptop out to the garden and I decided to write from here. Our weather has finally straightened out, it is 78 degrees today and will be 80+ over the weekend. The flowers are enjoying the sun. It hasn't rained more than .03 in the last 2 weeks, but the only thing I have had to water is the baskets.
The birds, butterflies, dragon flies and bees are in heaven. So much to eat, so little time. Yesterday my neighbor and I were talking. When I bought the place 7 years ago the back hill was weeds and blackberries. We didn't have much for wildlife. About 4 years ago 4 of us neighbors decided to start planting with the goal of attracting the critters and it really has worked. We have many baby birds around, finches, woodpeckers, and hummers. I can only imagine how many bees there are, the flowers are an express way of constant activity.
I can only imagine what the critters think, as I sit here and watch them and enjoy the garden and the day.
So the Anna Hummingbirds are our year round residents. Over the winter it was a challenge for a few weeks keeping the feeders from being frozen, but the pay off is so worth it. The family added another member this year. The last 2 years the family had males, and again this year another male. I got some pictures of him this week. His color isn't so good yet, he is kind of dirty looking since he still has baby feathers and it will be a couple of years before all the red comes in, right now he only has 1 red feather under his chin that is hard to see. I am sure daddy is happy to have sons, but I am sure at this point mom would like a daughter.
So being an artist the garden supplies a lot of wonderful shots. I was out over the last few days because it has finally turned to summer here and the plants are rejoicing. I uploaded a bunch of shots in a new album titled Art Photos, but here are some of my favorites.