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22. Creating a Hummingbird Garden
Okay, I know you have heard of a flower garden, vegetable garden, and rock garden, but what is a hummingbird garden? These is an actual garden designed using the types of plants and flowers that entice hummingbirds so that you can sit back and enjoy these beautiful creatures as they travel in search of nectar. This type of garden can be created by anyone where flowers can be grown. All you need to know is the types of plants to use and some basic instructions on care.
Any type of plant or flower that is rich in nectar is a great choice. Some of the best choices are: Azaleas, Mimosa, Morning Glory Vines, Four-o-Clocks, Hibiscus, Rose of Sharon, and Fuchsia such as Black Prince. Not only will these attract the hummingbird but also they will provide amazing beauty to your landscape. Most of these flowers offer deep, rich colors with delicate blooms.
Hummingbirds are attracted to these types of flowers for three reasons. First, as stated, these are all beautifully colored, second, they all contain rich nectar, and third because of their unique tubular shape, as associated with the hummingbird.
Flowering borders that are tall are also very effective. Borders offer a wonderful finished look to your garden while providing the enriching nectar sought after by these birds. Butterflies love these too, which is an added bonus. Even if you are planting a regular garden, consider bright, high nectar borders, which will allure the hummingbird.
Once you have a place established for your garden, start by planting your taller plants toward the back. You might consider Delphinium Elatum or Magic Fountains, which often have different tones of blue although they bloom in red, lavender, white, yellow, and purple. You need to remember that although these birds look for the sweet nectar to eat, color is the key in attracting them. Creating a mixture of colors is your best option. Red color seems to be one of their favorites so even adding a splash of red will greatly increase your chances of drawings these little creatures in.
Another choice for your hummingbird garden is the Foxglove. These cup-shaped blossoms provide an elegant look and grow from 4 to 5 feet in height. They have different shades of lovely pink or white each with beautiful speckled throats and are easy flowering plants to grow. They produce the tubular blossoms that hummingbirds love. In addition, their colors mingle nicely with other flowers.
A third choice is a favorite of many people, the Hollyhock. These grow quite tall, 7 to 8 feet, and produce a special semi-double or double petals. This type of flower has been around for a very long time and they are easy to grow.
Spider Flowers are a unique flower that opens to show a fluffy cluster of pink or white blossoms with protruding stamens. These are extremely beautiful and offer a special look. These too grow tall, between 4 and 6 feet, and the seed capsules can be used to plant and grow each year. These are annuals, meaning that they need to be planted each year, but certainly worth the effort.
You might also like to consider a plant called a Bleeding Heart. They have dark green fern-like foliage and produce heart-shaped blossoms in clusters of dark rose pink.
For the border or small plants, consider Baby’s Breath. These usually grow between 10 and 14 inches and have tiny pink or white blossoms that give a nice delicate appearance. Other choices to enhance the taller plants would be showy compact plants such as Sweet Alyssum, Lobelia, or Candytuft. Each of these is rich in color and nectar and loved by both hummingbird and butterfly.
You should also provide some type of shelter – places for them perch while gathering the nectar as well as water. You can simply add an inexpensive hummingbird feeder from your local home improvement or hardware store. The hummingbird garden is extra special in that you can enjoy nature in two different ways.
Since this type of garden is dealing with live animals, be sure to never use poisonous chemicals or insecticides to kill weeks. If you have unwanted pests, discuss with a nursery to determine what alternative products you can use that will not cause any harm.
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