Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Hummingbirds in the Garden

Ruby Throated Hummingbird
Last week while having my coffee and watching the rain I noticed a blur in the hedge next to my house. When it finally settled down on a branch I was surprised to see it was a hummingbird. As they migrate north they send out scouts to look for food sources. There is an overgrown honeysuckle growing in the hedge and that was what it had found. Last summer I had a couple hummingbirds come to the monarda I have planted.

Monarda- A hummingbird favorite

If you want to attract hummers to your garden you can start now by putting out a hummingbird feeder. If the scouts find it they will make it a regular stop on their route. They seem to be quite punctual as every day when I come home from work I see them at the feeder. I make my own sugar mix by heating a cup of water in the microwave and mixing in 1/4 cup sugar.

Trumpet Creeper Flower

You can also plant shrubs and perennials that attract these delightful birds. Plan your hummingbird garden with a variety of plants that begin to bloom early in May and continue to provide nectar through out the summer and into the fall. Yes, as a general rule, they seem to be attracted to red, tubular shaped flowers. Here is a list of plants to consider.

Shrubs                         Perennials                     Annuals
Trumpet Vine               Agastache                    Cuphea
Honeysuckle                Columbine                    Fuchsia
Rose of Sharon            Crocosmia                    Lantana
Butterfly Bush               Delphinium                   Morning Glory
Weigela                        Heuchera                      Nasturtium
                                    Lobelia                          Salvia
                                    Monarda                       Petunias

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