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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:

  • Iris 'Yarai'
Photos courtesy of Walters Gardens, Inc.

    Iris pseudata 'Yarai' (25) BR Plants

    Iris pseudata 'Yarai' (25) BR Plants Common Name: Pseudata IrisOne of the first pseudatas to bloom! This tall plant will bring height to your garden with a unique peach blend flowers that have deep purple veining. The standards have more deep purple...

    $165.00
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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 'Swans in Flight'
Photos courtesy of Walters Gardens, Inc.

    Iris s. 'Swans in Flight' (25) BR Plants

    Iris s. 'Swans in Flight' (25) bare root clumps Common Name: Siberian IrisThis later blooming white variety will certainly turn your head when it blooms in early summer. Extremely large, 5' ivory white flowers are wider and fuller than the classic 'White...

    $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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  • 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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  • 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 e. 'Lion King'

    Iris e. 'Lion King' (Japanese) (25) BR Plants

    Iris e. 'Lion King' (Japanese) (25) BR Plants Extraordinary 7-8 inches, fully double, ruffled flowers Each petal displays a wide, grape purple edge that feathers into a pure white center Majestic specimen for perennial and water gardens Height: 3-4...

    $193.00
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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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