Monday, January 11, 2010

If I Plant It, Will They Stay Forever?


Did you watch it? Wasn't it enchanting? 

That was the coffee shop chat, earlier this morning, as my Hummingbird loving friends talked over 'Magic in the Air' ~ the PBS Nature Series Sunday episode. If you missed it, I've got you covered. Ditch this blog, click this link and prepare to be dazzled! (But please leave a comment B4 you go because I get really insecure when nobody says hi.)

This episode was all about Hummingbirds... those itty bitty darlings of my Western garden, who come and go though I wish they'd stay just a wee bit longer.

Interesting that every one of my gardening buddies picked up on the same thing... That the Hummers have recently revised their migratory pattern, doing a fly-by to enjoy the native plants in Baton Rouge.

Which got us wondering if we could do the same thing here!

I imagine that entails upping the ante on native Western flowers. (The natives have lots more nectar but then you already knew that, didn't you?)

They love my Honeysuckles, Penstamon, and Agastache Mints but those all bloom too late in the season... What, pray tell, do they prey upon in your garden? 

If you know of good EARLY bloomers, Spring and Early Summer flowering perennials, that hummingbirds just love, please let me know!

* Yeah, yeah, it looks as if I have no room for more plants, but that's not the case! Around this joint, there's always room for another flower...

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40 comments:

Lisa said...

We see hummingbirds in spring feeding on primrose, weigela and monarda didmya. They especially love the monarda.

jodi (bloomingwriter) said...

There's always room for more plants, Kate. Always. Let's see, what do the rubythroats visit when they arrive here in May; columbines, bleeding hearts, Solomon's seals, pulmonaria, mertensia. Do any of these do well for you? (though they probably bloom earlier for you than me). Lilacs, rhododendrons, alliums, I'm just thinking about where I see the hummers in spring (they stay here til mid September). Plus we put out three feeders and have to fill them twice daily for much of the summer, despite the plethora of flowering plants around the garden. We're year-round birdfeeders anyway, so what's a little sugar and water?

Gail said...

Your garden is beautiful.

KC said...

I don't know a thing about Hummingbirds but I do know I love the photos of summer. Ahh, memories.....

Kate said...

Hi, Lisa;
Primrose! Never thought of that. I love it and it's a very early bloomer for me. Thanks for the tip! :)

Kate said...

Hi, Jodi;
I'm becoming a year 'round bird feeder, too, so investing in a few more hummingbird feeders is on the list. Thanks for all of these suggestions. I planted a ton of Allium bulbs last autumn so I'm glad to hear the Hummers like to feed on them. :)

Kate said...

Thanks, Gail. Some folks think it's messy but I like a cluttered mass of flower power. :)

Kate said...

KC -- If you have some time, click that link and watch the show. You will love it! Did you get a remote control for your mac? Makes watching tv on it so much nicer. :)

Christine B. said...

We watched that episode with the kids last night, we all loved it. Wish more hummers made it up here to Anchorage. They are reputed to love columbines and blueberry blossoms here.

Christine in Alaska

NellJean said...

We only get ruby throats. I start tropicals inside so they can enjoy them sooner. One permanent early thing they will abandon sugar water for is the invasive alien, Chinaberry trees.

I hope you find lots that they enjoy.

Shady Gardener said...

Hi Kate! You are having a wonderful time with the hummers - obviously! We only have the ruby-throated hummingbird here. But they're Very fun to watch. Beautiful flowers in your garden. If I were a hummer, I'd head over there. :-)

sweet bay said...

I will have to check on that program, I didn't see it last night. Hummingbirds are indeed among the most enchanting of birds! Our climates are so different that I can't really make any suggestions except for columbine and salvias.

Kate said...

Hi, Christine;
Wasn't that a fantastic program? I couldn't believe it when they were banding those tiny, tiny birds. I think my hummingbirds are on the migratory pattern that head toward Alaska, though I'm not sure how far they actually go. Thanks for stopping by.

Kate said...

Hi, Nell Jean;
Calliope Hummers are very plentiful out here. I hope things are warming up in lovely Georgia. During this odd deep freeze, I've been worried about our SE gardening friends and their fragile flowers.

Kate said...

Thx, Shady! They do seem to have a ball with that mess of flowers when they're all in bloom. :D

Kate said...

Hi Sweet Bay;
I am really enjoying your videos! It's inspiring me to try some of that myself. I imagine there's a big learning curve, though. Thanks for taking the time to pay me a visit. :)

Grace Peterson said...

Hi Kate~~ Well, no need to be insecure! You are well loved. :) Ribes sanguineum or Red Flowering Current is a hummingbird favorite in these parts. It blooms in early March and is a native. This is the only early blooming plant I can think of off the top of my head. Good luck. They are fun aren't they?

Melanie said...

Kate we get humming birds up here before anything is blooming so sugar water is essential. Your garden is beautiful

Kate said...

Grace -- that's a goodie! I love currants and I'm pretty sure they grow here. Thanks for this one! :)

Kate said...

Thanks, Melanie -- My garden's have very little rhyme or reason to them. Just a big bunch of all my favorite colors. :)

prue said...

What a lovely sight! I have no idea of new plants to attract them as I don't think we get hummingbirds here!!! I have to make do with sparrows. Hope you manage to attract some.

Kate said...

Hi, Prue!
No, I guess you don't. Now that I watched that special I'm an expert (ha!) Apparently, Hummingbirds only live in the Americas. But, don't feel too bad. Most of my bird watching is of the sparrow kind, too. :)

jan said...

Hummingbirds are so entertaining! Love the photo of the summer garden! Those plants look like they are having a rowdy party!

Garden Lily said...

Your photos of your garden and hummingbirds are gorgeous! I usually notice my first hummers at the Monarda didyma, then later the Buddleia davidii, and Crocosmia.

Old Bookworm said...

Yes, I watched it. Fantastic program! I love hummers and we get lots of them here. One time my son held out his hand and a little one rested there for a bit and then flew away again. I'm sure you will find more plants for those babies :)

Iron Needles said...

We stumbled on the show, and I was all enchanted by it, until I found I had missed most of the Simpsons Anniversary Show because I was watching stupid PBS and Hummingbirds! Dancing! Defying gravity!

Oh, and they avoid the feeders like death, much to the guys chagrin(!), and love my anything orange flowers. Also, they rest on my tomatoe cages. Yes they do!

Oh, spring, when will you be here?

Iron Needles said...

PS. The felted slippers are looking better and better! Maybe if I knew a shoe size...

Kate said...

Hi, Jan; Love that! Rowdy is a perfect description of my wildly too-crowded gardens. [Squished close together, flowers keep the weeds at bay.]

Kate said...

Hi, Garden Lily;
I was drooling over Crocosmia just last night. It was somewhere in that giant stack of seed and flower catalogs... Great tip. I'll do a little digging to see if they would like to come live with me. :)

Kate said...

Hi, Bookworm;

How special for your son. I had a butterfly light on my hand once - which is nothing too special. But, it happened while I was planting some perennials that allegedly attract butterflies. So when she landed on my arm it was like she was saying "Yeah! These work! Nice job." :)

Kate said...

Hi, Iron!
Whew! Good to see you over here. I was wishing I could have found an 'un-publish' button after I left you that teasing comment yesterday. I can be such a dork sometimes. Anyhoo, apparently so can you! Glad to see you have your priorities straight -- Simpsons damn! -- I missed that for some freakin' nature show...?

Noelle said...

Hello Kate,

We are blessed to still have our little visitors throughout the winter. One plant I can suggest is to try Salvia greggii (Autumn Sage). That is by far their most favorite plant. Penstemon is their second ;-)

Kate said...

Thanks for the tips, Noelle. I am not familiar with autumn sage so this is another goody I plan to check out. I was over at cold climate gardening earlier today - she was talking about some fab new penstamons. I guess we can never have too many! :D

Shady Gardener said...

Kate, I wanted to leave my reply to your comment here, too. This is regarding the mini greenhouse post... not all seeds need to be stratified. Those seeds that drop to the ground (in the cold climates) and grow the following Spring would be prime candidates for this technique. :-)

Kate said...

Thanks, Shady; I would like to give this a try with a few of my 'special' perennials -- like the False Indigo so I can make more productive use of those seeds.

I stopped over to Our Little Acre to learn more and discovered Kaylee is going to be on the Martha Stewart show! Wow! How cool is that?

Hocking Hills Gardener said...

Kate girl what great pictures of the hummers!
That has always been my motto also 'always room for one more. I can hear you now, with all those dead ones you always have room. LOL!
Columbines,pulmonaria,Tiarella, Honeysuckle, lilacs and Jack Frost Brunnera blooms early here.

Kate said...

You got me, Lona ;-) -- I had to Google Tiarella! Had not heard of this pretty bloomer before. Thanks for the tip.

Garden Lily said...

Kate - If you know someone with crocosmia, I'm sure they could spare some. They propagate like crazy, as this post shows. Also very difficult to remove, so make sure you like the spot you choose for them. But I love them, and want to buy more varieties this year. I get lots of comments on them from garden visitors.

Rose said...

I completely missed this show, Kate. Thanks for providing the link--I'll come back later to watch it! Salvia is always a good choice to attract them, but the ones here seem happy with some of my annuals, too, especially anything with a blossom they can stick their beak into.

Corner Gardener Sue said...

We rarely have hummingbirds, but I've seen them on cardinal creeper and black and blue salvia. I don't think they bloom very early, though.