Lisa and I sat in our front courtyard, watching the antics of “our” hummingbirds. They were enjoying water from the fountains and sipping nectar from the 30+ pots of flowers. We enjoyed one unique, unexpected benefit: the birds are equally happy sharing the landscape with us! The flower, birds, sparkling water, and fresh air compile for a romantic getaway in our front yard.
Hummingbirds are the easiest to attract into the yard. We don’t have feeders. We never want our birds to become an obnoxious burden, but we have many flowers that bring in the birds. We noticed some flowers attract the hummers better than others do. The same flowers attract butterflies. If you enjoy birds and butterflies in the yard, try planting some of our favorites.
Agastache– burgundy-rose flowers pop against dark green foliage that attracts hummingbirds and butterflies. Thrives in local gardens; 3′ tall. $17.99
Autumn Sage, Salvia greggi, the longest blooming sage in crimson-red, signals spring with continual flowers broadcast right through Autumn. Hummingbirds and gardeners fall for this knee-high bloomer that deserves a prominent location in the garden’s hotter spots. $22
Fuchsia – There are many fuchsias at the garden center right now. They have one of the brightest flowers for a shade-loving plant. Blooms usually are pink, orange, and yellow and have a drooping habit at the end of the stems. $9.99
Harlequin Pink Penstemon– this cottage garden essential produces a profusion of tall, native spikes of bright pink flowers that bloom from early summer to fall. Locally hardy down to -30 degrees. $19.99
Impatiens – A popular cottage garden plant because of its long-lasting bloom in the shade. It flowers from spring all the way through to the first frost. Impatiens have simple, five-petal flowers that bloom in various colors, from blue, purple, orange, pink, white, and red. Impatiens set seed readily in the garden, and it’s fun to wait until the seed pods swell to full size and then flick them with your fingers to see them burst open and spill their seed out to the ground. $2.99
Monarch Promise Milkweed – Milkweed is butterflies’ choice of place to lay their eggs; it’s also a source of nectar for their migrations. The contrast between the tiny blossoms of orange and red against the spiky variegated foliage makes this plant uniquely stunning. Partial shade encourages lusher leaves and blooms all summer! Looks excellent in containers. $17.99
Petunias are a staple at the Lain casa for containers, hanging baskets, and window boxes because of their long-lasting blooms and various colors. The trumpet-shaped flowers are a dead giveaway for their ability to attract hummingbirds. The variety of colors makes them easy to add to any garden space. $2.99
Summer Splash Nierembergia flowers are profuse and almost look like they are made of paper. It Reseeds quickly and is excellent for hot locations. They are easy to grow and perfect for patio pots and baskets. $7.99
Water – Don’t forget to provide water, especially for hummingbirds. Birds need a reliable water source and are satisfied with a simple birdbath or a saucer filled with an inch or so of water. Our garden has a simple fountain that attracts the smaller birds to a bubbling waterfall. Larger birds seem to prefer the good-sized pond in the backyard. Birds don’t bathe as often as we like, but they love resting and sipping at a water edge.
Until next month, I’ll be helping gardeners attract more hummingbirds here at Watters Garden Center.
Ken Lain can be found throughout the week at Watters Garden Center, 1815 Iron Springs Rd in Prescott, or contacted through his website at WattersGardenCenter.com or Top10Plants.com