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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:

  • Salvia 'Vanity Flair' 
Photos courtesy of Walters Gardens, Inc.

    Salvia 'Vanity Flair' PPAF (25) BR Plants

    Salvia 'Vanity Flair' PPAF - FASHIONISTA® Collection (25) bare root clumps 'Vanity Flair' has large sky blue flowers. The long flower spikes are produced above a dense mass canopy of dark green foliage. Height: 20.0-22.0 InchesSpread: 20.0-24.0...

    $175.00
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  • Iris s. 'Sunfisher'
Photos courtesy of Walters Gardens, Inc.

    Iris s. 'Sunfisher' (25) BR Plants

    Iris s. 'Sunfisher' (25) bare root clumps Common Name: Siberian IrisLight yellow standards and deeper yellow falls form a beautiful display in early to midseason. Based on our observations, this is one of the earliest of the Siberian Iris to bloom...

    $165.00
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  • Iris sibirica 'Sky Mirror'
Photos courtesy of Walters Gardens, Inc.

    Iris s. 'Sky Mirror' (25) BR Plants

    Iris s. 'Sky Mirror' (25) bare root clumps Common Name: Siberian IrisWith a similar flower shape to 'Ruffled Velvet', this Iris will give you the rare light blue shade that you've been needing for your early summer garden. Pale sky blue falls have navy...

    $165.00
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  • Iris sibirica 'Cape Cod Boys'
Photos courtesy of Walters Gardens, Inc.

    Iris s. 'Cape Cod Boys' (25) BR Plants

    Iris s. 'Cape Cod Boys' (25) bare root clumps Common Name: Siberian IrisJust like the famous shore community of Cape Cod, this Siberian Iris will make you think of beaches and the ocean. Periwinkle blue flowers have darker blue veining that intensifies...

    $165.00
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  • Salvia n. 'Violet Profusion'
Photos courtesy of Walters Gardens, Inc.

    Salvia n. 'Violet Profusion' PPAF (25) BR Plants

    Salvia n. 'Violet Profusion' PPAF (25) Bare Root Plants Common Name: Perennial SalviaThis Salvia nemorosa hybrid will impress you with the number of times it reblooms! Sheer back the spent flowers and enjoy again throughout the summer. Violet blue...

    $186.60
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  • Salvia n. 'Perfect Profusion'
Photos courtesy of Walters Gardens, Inc.

    Salvia n. 'Perfect Profusion' PPAF (25) BR Plants

    Salvia n. 'Perfect Profusion' PPAF (25) Bare Root Plants Profusion SeriesCommon Name: Perennial SalviaThis Salvia nemorosa hybrid reblooms multiple times throughout the summer if the spent flower stems are cut back-one of the very best for consistent...

    $186.60
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  • Salvia n. 'Pink Profusion'
Photos courtesy of Walters Gardens, Inc.

    Salvia n. 'Pink Profusion' PPAF (25) BR Plants

    Salvia n. 'Pink Profusion' PPAF (25) Bare Root Plants Profusion SeriesCommon Name: Perennial SalviaThis Salvia nemorosa hybrid will impress you with the number of times it reblooms! Sheer back the spent flowers and enjoy again throughout the summer. Dark...

    $186.60
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  • Salvia n. 'Bumblesnow'
Photos courtesy of Walters Gardens, Inc.

    Salvia n. 'Bumblesnow' PPAF (25) BR Plants

    Salvia n. 'Bumblesnow' PPAF (25) Bare Root Plants Bumble SeriesCommon Name: Perennial Salvia, Garden Sage'Bumblesnow' produces pure white flowers on a petite habit of attractive deep green foliage. Good rebloom if deadheaded. This cute sized package is...

    $163.00
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  • Salvia nemorosa 'Bumbleblue' PPAF

    Salvia n. 'Bumbleblue' PPAF (25) BR Plants

    Salvia nemorosa 'Bumbleblue' PPAF Common Name: Salvia-Perennial, garden sage, wood sage 'Bumbleblue' is prolific bloomer, producing loads of violet blue flowers on a petite habit of healthy, deep green foliage. This cute sized package is perfect for...

    $163.00
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  • Salvia 'Ballerina Pink' PPAF

    Salvia 'Ballerina Pink' PPAF (25) BR Plants

    Salvia 'Ballerina Pink' PPAF - FASHIONISTA Collection Common Name: Salvia-Perennial, garden sage, wood sage Soft pink flowers are held by dark mauve pink calyxes.  Height: 18.0-20.0 Inches; Spread: 16.0-18.0 InchesHardiness Zones: 3,4,5,6,7,8Flower...

    $175.00
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  • Salvia nemorosa 'Bumbleberry' PPAF

    Salvia n. 'Bumbleberry' PP31602 (25) BR Plants

    Salvia 'Bumbleberry' PP31602 Common Name: Salvia-Perennial, garden sage, wood sage; 'Bumbleberry' produces dark fuchsia pink flowers on dark wine purple calyxes on a petite habit of attractive deep green foliage. The deep, intense color makes other...

    $163.00
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  • Iris sibirica 'Blueberry Fair'

    Iris s. 'Blueberry Fair' (25) BR Plants

    Iris 'Blueberry Fair'  Common Name: Siberian Iris 4 inches wide, indigo purple falls and standards have white near the centers with indigo purple veining. The full-looking flowers sit atop extremely thick stems. American Iris Society Morgan-Wood...

    $165.00
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  • Iris 'Over in Gloryland'
Photos courtesy of Walters Gardens, Inc.

    Iris s. 'Over in Gloryland' (25) BR Plants

    Iris s. 'Over in Gloryland' (25) BR Plants Height: 34.0 Inches; Spread: 18.0-24.0 InchesHardiness Zones: 3 - 9Flower Color: Blue shades; Foliage Color: Green shadesFull Sun - Part ShadeAverage to Consistent Water Average Soil QualityAttracts...

    $165.00
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  • Iris siberica 'Caesar's Brothers'

    Iris siberica 'Caesar's Brothers' bare root

    Iris siberica 'Caesar's Brother' Common Name: Siberian iris Zone 3 to 8, perhaps 9. Full sun to partial shade. Deep purple flowers in late spring rise to height of 36 to 40 inches on rigid stems. Hardy clumps of arching, slender, grass-like, slightly...

    $3.62
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  • Salvia nemorosa 'Snow Hill'
Photos courtesy of Walters Gardens, Inc.

    Salvia nemorosa 'Snow Hill' (25) BR Plants

    Salvia nemorosa 'Snow Hill' a/k/a 'Schneehugel'. Zone: 4 to 9. Full sun to partial shade. Mature size: up to 20 inches height; spreads 15 to 18 inches. More compact habit than other perennial Salvias. Dense, white blooms atop multiple spikes over...

    $186.60
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  • Salvia 'May Night' offers long lasting violet blooms from spring to frost over clumping green foliage.  Prefers full sun, attracts butterflies and is hardy from zone 4-9.

    Salvia nemorosa 'May Night' (25) BR Plants

    Salvia nemorosa 'May Night' a/k/a 'Mainacht'. 1997 Perennial Plant Of The Year. Zone: 3 to 8. Full sun to partial shade. Mature size: up to 18 inches height; spreads 18 to 24 inches. Dense, vibrant blue-violet blooms atop multiple spikes over...

    $165.00
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  • Salvia nemorosa 'Caradonna'

    Salvia nemorosa 'Caradonna' (25) BR Plants

    Salvia nemorosa 'Caradonna' Common Name: Salvia-Perennial, garden sage. Zones 3 to 8. Full sun. Plants reach 24 to 30 inches tall and 15 inches wide;Growth rate: Moderate, clump forming herbaceous perennial. Rigidly upright habit and dark purple flower...

    $158.60
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  • Iris sibirica 'Ruffled Velvet'

    Iris sibirica 'Ruffled Velvet' (25) BR Plants

    Iris sibirica 'Ruffled Velvet' Common name: Siberian Iris. Zones 3 to 9. Full sun to part shade. Plants reach 24 to 30 inches tall and 18 to 24 inches wide; Herbaceous perennial clumps will grow together to inhibit weeds. Growth rate: Moderate...

    $158.60
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  • Iris sibirica 'Caesar's Brother'

    Iris siberica 'Caesar's Brother' (25) BR Plants

    Iris siberica 'Caesar's Brother' Common Name: Siberian Iris Zone 3 to 8, perhaps 9. Full sun to partial shade. Deep purple flowers in late spring rise to height of 36 to 40 inches on rigid stems. Hardy clumps of arching, slender, grass-like, slightly...

    $153.00
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  • Iris sibirica 'Butter and Sugar'

    Iris sibirica 'Butter and Sugar' (25) BR Plants

    Iris sibirica 'Butter and Sugar' Common name: Siberian Iris. Zones 3 to 9. Full sun to part shade. Plants reach 28 inches tall and 18 to 24 inches wide; Herbaceous perennial clumps will grow together to inhibit weeds. Growth rate: Moderate. Creamy...

    $158.60
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  • Iris 'Black Gamecock'

    Iris 'Black Gamecock' (25) BR Plants

    Iris 'Black Gamecock' Common name: Louisiana Iris. Zones 3 to 9. Full sun to part shade. Plants reach 24 to 36 inches tall and 24 inches wide;Growth rate: Rapid. This native cultivar has huge 4 to 6 inch blossoms that open flat to display velvety deep...

    $161.00
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