My last trip to Cape May brought us to The Bird House of Cape May as we were making our way home after a very nice visit and needed vacation. I picked up a couple of goodies while at the shop… a beautiful tasseled throw with impeccable weaving (on it was a calming beach scene and a sweet Adirondack styled chair) and a cotton nesting ball especially for my feathered friends.
My recent favorite has been Wild Birds Unlimited. I usually frequent the Katonah-Bedford Hills, Westchester New York location. They sell both supplies and bird themed gifts. I bought most of my stocking stuffers there this season. The prices tend to be mid-range. I consider them a local treasure. They have a number of other locations as well across the United States. They have the best customizable bird feeding station I’ve ever seen!
*Photocredit: The Bird House of Cape May in NJ & Wild Birds Unlimited
A few months ago I purchased Kettle Moraine’s window-mount style bird house and can’t wait until Spring arrives, fairly soon too, to get a first glimpse of a feathered friend’s growing brood! I have to admit that the initial placement wasn’t the best… huhhh lesson learned… and I must move it soon, that is, after the ice around it melts :(. Before placing it outdoors and tethered on metal wiring (because I don’t exactly trust the grip of any little suction cups; even though there are three), I stained the cute wooden house a very light brown in hopes to extend its outdoor longevity. Though I must scoot the house over to the other side, the spot seems otherwise perfect because I have a casual dining set up which will allow me to watch how the birds are doing while providing them enough shade and privacy (I have a vintage valance with small cut-out designs). Fingers crossed, I hope my Carolina wren or chickadee mom will eventually take residence :)! Should this fortunate happenstance occur, I will be sure to update all of you bird-lovers with photos…
I started gardening in 2004, creating a perennial raised-bed garden (always remember that raised beds need extra watering!). When my husband and I returned from our Cape May trip early June, after discovering the presence of hummingbirds, I decided to read more on the topic (a resource post will follow this one). Transforming my old perennial garden into a hummingbird garden has been a great source of joy for me! Through this process, I’ve rediscovered my passion for gardening; sadly I had abandoned my perennial garden for a few years minus some basic pruning, post Fall & winter cleanup, and fertilizing (meaning there were no new plant installations/landscaping for a while). Even with the recent new plant additions, I have kept a few of my previous perennials, namely Dragon’s Blood, daylily, bleeding hearts, and miniature roses. The others since have been transferred to a neighboring garden patch which we usually refer to as “The Bowling Pin” because of its shape. I saw a question posted to The Hummingbird Society Facebook site (hope you will decide to join!) regarding the perfect zone-specific plants and flowers to establish in one’s garden to successfully attract these birds. My best advice is to consult with your local nursery; they can be a wealth of information and you will have the confidence in knowing your purchase will have a higher potential to thrive in your garden. I know, shameless plug here to support your local small business, but you know how much I love small businesses ;)! My local nursery even had a printout highlighting perennials versus annuals (was very thankful for this list)!
The following are for Zone 6 (keep in mind these are dependent on sunlight and water conditions in your garden):
There may be more hummingbird-attractive plants I have not included on my list; I don’t consider it comprehensive since I’m still learning like you. I will try to update as I encounter them in the future. I hope this list will be helpful to all of you in Zone 6! Seems like nectar-producing species, red (hummers can see color), and/or tubular-shaped flowers (in which they typically find their bugs of choice here) are the way to go ;). Remember to set out your nectar feeder(s) and keep them very clean and full. The hummingbirds will become more and more reliant as nectar-producing flowers diminsh with the progression through summer into autumn. Also, place your feeders near these hummer-friendly plants. Hummingbirds love a place in which they can enjoy opportunities for shade, part sun, full sun, and cover (mature trees & shrubs) as a protection against potential danger. I suspect this is why they’ve chosen to remain in our garden for this reason.
Below, is a picture of my hummingbird garden in the middle of its transformation, enjoy =)…