Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Hummingbird Flowers

I like hummingbirds. I got hooked a few years ago when i lived in a place that seemed an unlikely spot. For some reason I bought a 3 dollar nectar feeder and put it up and lo, there were hummingbirds. Later I found out that there had been a neighbor who fed them in the past. You see, hummingbirds are creatures of habit, which brings me to the present.

Last year I saw a total of 3 hummingbirds in my yard. I had one feeder up but got mad when they didn't show and let it go. This year I have resolved to entice them as much as possible and so far have seen 2. It is early so I think I will see more. What should draw them in more are various flowers that I have planted. I think that they just haven't had a reason to come here but I know a lady just 3 blocks from me that has hordes so I'm sure I can entice them.

Various salvias are excellent. Pineapple sage is highly recommended but in my experience, here in Pittsburgh, it does not bloom until very late when the bird are leaving. This year I decided to try Salvia guaranitica. This is very highly recommended. Below is one of my 'black and blue' plants. I put them in my earthbox on my front porch ledge which last year held broccoli. This plant could become 4 feet tall. We shall see. It was 4 inches tall just a few weeks ago.
What is kinda interesting to me is that hummingbirds are allegedly attracted to blue. I know that they like red, but some say that they, especially western hummingbirds, love blue. This is just the calyx of the flower. It is the black part of the flower. The flower is a vivid blue. I have been waiting for it to bloom since I have planted it. I suppose I could have chosen a pot with blooms already but I subscribe to the belief that's it's better to let your plant grow in a bit before it blooms, whether it's a vegetable or a flower. The calyx is just opening.
This lavender flower is mona lavender swedish ivy. It is an upright plant that likes some shade so I have it on a table on my porch. The flowers do not have much scent but I sampled a flower and found that it has sweet nectar. This was an impulse buy, more expensive, 10 dollars, than most plants I buy but I think it was worth it. Aren't I cheap?
This cypress seedling should have red blooms on a long vine. I also will be planting some scarlet runner beans, but I haven't decided where.
I'd really like to see more people helping hummingbirds out. They aren't just cute. They eat lots of bugs to quote a quote, "Hummers need nectar to power the bug eating machine that they are."
-Bob Sargent

My source is Hummingbird Feeders, a page on HUMMINGBIRDS.NET. That site is very informative.
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