Hummingbird Flower Gardening
Add Color to Any Landscape
Hummingbirds are a joy to watch and are very inquisitive by nature, and will investigate any possible new source of food. Hummingbirds feed by sight on regularly followed routes, called traplining. Rather than the typical plastic feeder, a hummingbird garden makes a colorful addition to any landscape.
Hummingbirds are pollinators, meaning that they carry pollen from one plant to another, just like bees. They do not build houses or nests, are very territorial, and live around four years. They tend to stay around food and water supplies. They prefer large funnel shaped flowers (which hold the most nectar) in shades of purple, orange, and red.
Hummingbird gardens provide a natural diet for the birds and can be a nice backdrop for capturing these amazing little creatures on film. Careful planning and a variety of plants that flower at different times of the season will keep hummers around throughout the year (provided the area is in a suitable climate).
Hummingbirds rely upon small insects for protein, so using pesticides around hummingbird plants should be avoided. Pesticides sprayed onto flowers can be ingested by the hummers causing them to become sick or die.
Most birds, including hummers, have very little or no sense of smell, so flowers that attract them usually have little or no fragrance. Their resources include high visibility and nectar producing flowers. There are many plants that can be used when cultivating a hummingbird garden. Local nurseries can give suggestions specific to the climates and soil of the region in which you live.
Having a hummingbird garden is as simply having enough area of yard space to hold a variety of plants, a perch, and a water supply. Backyard groupings are sometimes the preferred way, and makes a nice landscape showpiece, plus they are a nice way to attract plenty of hummers. Yards with existing small trees, around which a grouping could be made, make a good start to a complete hummingbird garden.
If there are no trees with small branches available, consideration should be given to placing a few small decorative trees to use in your garden. Once the chosen area for the hummingbird garden has some appropriate perches in place, next will come providing a suitable water supply.
A bird bath is the cheapest and simplest way to provide the hummers with a water supply, and and can be found in a variety of sizes, shapes, and features. Hummingbirds like moving water, giving the options of various fountains including those that spray or bubble. Keep the fountain or bird bath close to the smaller trees, hummingbirds prefer a roost near a water supply.
The final item, choosing the flowers to use, should include the preferred colors of purple, orange, and red, funnel shaped flowers. A few common perennials that hummers enjoy include: geraniums, cosmos, coral bells, bee balm, verbena, dahlias, sage, and foxglove. Annuals that can be used include: impatiens, petunias, zinnia, and mountain garland. Shrubs include mimosa, azalea, and lilac. Look up specific plants for hummingbird gardens according to the region you live.
For those who love hummingbirds, yet aren't interested in fixing a garden, purchase nectar feeders to hang around the home, or some hanging baskets of flowers consisting of any of the plants and flowers mentioned previously. Hummingbirds are creatures of habit and will return to the same feeders once they discover where they are located. Regardless of which type of hummingbird attractant used, watch in amazement when these tiny creatures begin to flock in.