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Hummingbird Gardens

hummingbird.jpgFound only in the Americas, the hummingbird family includes 383 species, but only 16 live in North America. Hummingbirds like bright-colored flowers with lots of nectar, often they are red. Hummingbirds must feed 3 to 5 times per hour and may become reliant on your garden for food, but there may be periods when there are no blossoms from which they can get nectar. Even with a garden of plants, it is a good idea to provide hummingbird feeders.

Never fill your feeders with anything but sugar-water mix of 1 part white sugar to 4 parts water. Do not use food coloring of any kind, and never use molasses, honey, sugar substitutes, powdered, brown sugar or nutrient mixtures (these can develop a fungus which can be fatal to hummingbirds). Wash the feeder each time you refill it. Scrub feeders occasionally with a brush, after a soaking in a mild bleach-water mixture (1 part bleach to 9 parts water), which kills any bacteria in the feeder.

Hummingbirds are very territorial and will defend flowers and feeders from other hummers. If possible, space food sources out of sight from one another, or as far apart as possible, up to 30 feet.

While hummingbirds need nectar, insects, such as aphids, represent the majority of their diet. According to recent research, hummingbirds may have very small brains but excellent memory when it involves food. Scientists in Britain and Canada, have studied the Rufous hummingbird that lives in the Canadian Rockies. The Rufous hummingbird can remember the location of specific flowers and the last time they visited them.

In the birds'€™ feeding grounds, scientists kept track of how frequently the hummingbirds visited eight artificial flowers filled with a sucrose solution. Once the flowers were empty the scientists refilled half after 10 minutes and other half after 20 minutes.

Scientists discovered that the birds returned to the flowers according to the refill schedule. The flowers refilled every ten minutes were visited by the hummingbirds sooner than those refilled every 20 minutes. They believe that the hummingbird'€™s brain has become extremely developed because they travel long distances and do no€™t have time and energy to waste looking for food.

Hummingbirds may visit these blooming plants:

  • Lavandula a. 'Lavance Deep Purple'
Photos courtesy of Walters Gardens, Inc.

    Lavandula a. 'Lavance Deep Purple' (20)ct Flat

    Lavandula a. 'Lavance Deep Purple' (20)ct Flat Common Name: English LavenderOne of the darkest hued lavenders from seed. Deep purple-blue flowers do not bleach during the summer, according to Pan American Seed. Deer and rabbits tend to avoid this highly...

    $142.20
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  • Kniphofia 'Flashpoint' 
Photos courtesy of Walters Gardens, Inc.

    Kniphofia 'Flashpoint' PPAF (25) BR Plants

    Kniphofia 'Flashpoint' PPAF (25) Bare Root Plants PYROMANIA™ Collection Common Name: Red Hot PokerChartreuse yellow buds mature to creamy white as the flowers open. The last member of the collection to bloom.A brand new genus for Proven...

    $201.00
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  • Lavandula a. 'Silver Mist'

    Lavandula a. 'Silver Mist' (20)ct Flat

    Lavandula a. 'Silver Mist' (20)ct Flat Touted as the most silver of any lavender; rare selection Forms a bushy, very well-branched, uniform clump of fragrant, glaucous silver foliage Lavender purple flowers appear a bit later than other lavenders...

    $147.00
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  • Lavandula x intermedia 'Grosso'

    Lavandula x intermedia 'Grosso' (20)ct Flat

    Lavandula x intermedia 'Grosso' Common name: English Lavender. Zones 5 to 9. Full sun; to flower, Lavender must be grown in full sun. Plants reach 24 to 30 inches tall and 18 to 24 inches wide. Growth rate: Moderate, erect herbaceous clump-forming...

    $143.80
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  • Lavandula a. 'Essence Purple'

    Lavandula a. 'Essence Purple' (20)ct Flat

    Lavandula a. 'Essence Purple' (20)ct Flat Outstanding garden performer Bright blueberry colored flowers early Forms a perfectly rounded, uniform, dense clump of green, aromatic foliage. Retains its perfect habit all season. Height: 18 inches Zones...

    $147.00
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  • Lavandula a. 'Munstead'
Photos courtesy of Walters Gardens, Inc.

    Lavandula a. 'Munstead' (20)ct Flat

    Lavandula angustifolia 'Munstead' Common name: English Lavender. Zones 5 to 9. Full sun; to flower, Lavender must be grown in full sun. Plants reach 12 to 16 inches tall and 12 inches wide. Growth rate: Moderate, erect herbaceous clump-forming...

    $143.80
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  • Lavandula a. 'Munstead'
Photos courtesy of Walters Gardens, Inc.

    Lavandula a. 'Munstead' (25) BR Plants

    Lavandula angustifolia 'Munstead' (25) Bare Root plants Common name: English Lavender. Zones 5 to 9. Full sun; to flower, Lavender must be grown in full sun. Plants reach 12 to 16 inches tall and 12 inches wide. Growth rate: Moderate, erect herbaceous...

    $161.00
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