HUMMING RIGHT ALONG


Monarda Bluestocking.


Hummingbird snack bar.

Ruby throated male hummingbird.

His heart beats 1 260 times per minute. His wings beat 80 times for seconds. While in flight, their metabolism is the fastest of all animals except insects. body makes it imperative for a ruby throated hummingbird to consume three times their weight in nectar. That is where gardeners can help by planting red, pink, yellow and orange flowers with deep calyxes, such as agastache, columbine, coral honeysuckle, monarda, pentas, and salvia.
My first effort to attract hummingbirds to my garden is very modest. I bought an inexpensive plastic bird feeder and mounted it on an iron shepherds hook tall enough to discourage predatory cats. Rather than the prepacked tinted syrup sold at stores, I provide hummers with a mix of one cup of water to one fourth of a cup of sugar. I added hanging baskets of red geraniums, salvia and petunias to the snack bar and lo and behold, less than a week later, the hummers found them. Next year I will try to offer them a larger variety of high sucrose flowers. Barbara Damrosch’s beautifully illustrated Theme Gardens includes a plan for a hummingbird garden. I can’t think of a better source of inspiration.

UPDATE– After two days of marvelously cool weather, the veggie garden has been weeded and all the miniature roses have been plant in the rose border. Casablanca lilies are in bloom and the summer squash has responded well to a good rain. Sir Thomas Lipton rose is re blooming, delphinium, rudbeckia and lychnis put out a modest show. Matchstick chrysanthemum makes an early appearance. It looks lovely next to lavender.
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