"A flash of harmless lightning, A mist of rainbow dyes, The burnished sunbeams brightening from flower to flower he flies".

John Banister Tabb

hummingbirds                                                     


Before I moved to New Jersey and married a crazy, and I mean a really crazy Jersey Girl, I lived in California which has many species of Hummingbirds. Due to the warmer climate we had a huge assortment of plants that attracted these amazing darting jewels. Our garden was full of Anna's, Rufous, Allen's and other species of Hummingbirds. Some would even get in the house! The yard was full of Salvia species that kept these guys well fed.


In the northeast there is only one species of Hummingbird common to our gardens, that is the Ruby Throated Hummingbird. Though occasionally there are a few strays from the west and south, this is our Hummingbird...........they don't have it in the west. Most of this page is based on attracting this little guy to your garden.

                                          once invited, they need to eat

  Hummingbird Feeder Recipe

   Ingredients

  • Refined white sugar
  • Water

    Directions for making safe hummingbird food:

  1. Mix 1 part sugar with 4 parts water (for example, 1 cup of sugar with 4 cups of water) until the sugar is dissolved
  2. Do not add red dye
  3. Fill your hummingbird feeders with the sugar water and place outside
  4. Extra sugar water can be stored in a refrigerator
  5. Change feeders every other day and thoroughly clean them each time to prevent harmful mold growth

So while our climate is not that of California and we only have  one species, do not be distraught. This little gem is worth the trouble.

A properly planted garden that is loaded with color and nectar plants has a good chance of attracting these little guys. You may be lucky to tame a few, then they will hover near you and follow you around the garden.

  RUBY THROATED HUMMINGBIRD RANGE

don't want to clean feeders each day?

CREATE A HUMMINGBIRD GARDEN.  psssst......its about the color

Spring - Calling all Hummingbirds!!!! This amazing eastern native is the Eastern Columbine. One of our favorites with its flowing hanging lanterns so much so it is our choice in our Native Logo. Early and Late Spring bloomer, loves a loamy soil with some gravel. Full sun to partial sun, let it re-seed so you have waves of these lanterns beckoning to our native Hummingbirds.

They are early bloomers, and depending on the weather, may bloom before the Ruby Throats come back from Mexico. But not all is lost if that happens, you still have Columbine!



Summer - While we profess our love for the amazing Eastern Columbine, this plant Monarda didyma "Jacob Cline" is like watching fireworks, up close.  This amazing cultivar of our eastern native puts on a burst of color that is unmatched. And Ruby Throated Hummingbirds cannot pass up a firework display. 

Our front Butterfly Garden includes these beauties and they get nearly 6 feet tall and last almost all Summer. Our little hummingbirds fight over these flowers every day. The photo to the left is right at the front sidewalk so anyone walking the dog or passing by gets an eye full.

They do best with a little moisture and in rainy years these guys burst on the scene. Don't like red or want something a bit smaller? There are lots of sizes and colors to choose from. Their roots create good sized colonies and can easily be divided as you are going to want these guys throughout your garden.

And bees like them too!



Fall - It is apparent in writing this page that we love a lot of plants! And this one is no exception. The Great Lobelia is one of the first rescues we ever made. A large lot in Mahwah NJ was under construction, a place my kids would go and hunt for toads and frogs, was about to be bulldozed and these little beauties were growing along the edge of a grassy area.

The now reside in our yard, going to seed each year as we add more and more of them to the yard each year. Another native that thrives in damp soil but is at home in the normal perennial bed if watered.

This native wildflower of the East Coast puts on an impressive blue display of flowers. You can see the white throat of each individual flower that guides pollinators and hummingbirds to the nectar. Ours are scattered throughout the yard but this particular photo is from our new Rain Garden at the bottom of the garden. It mixes with Japanese Primroses, Cardinal Flower (close relative), Foxglove Beardstongue, Impatiens capensis and Horse Balm. All of these create a Hummingbird wonderland.

Salvias.

Mother Nature surely had in mind the Hummingbird when Central American and South American and even Southwestern species    evolved. Bright red species with long tubular throats are Hummingbird magnets. Unfortunately where we live, most are not hardy but that does not stop us from loading the garden with these plants. Pop them in pots, drop them in the flower beds. The nice thing is most are easily grown from cuttings. Our "mother" plants are placed in the greenhouse to wait out the long cold winters and replenish the gardens year after year. Below are several species scattered throughout our gardens in the front and back yards.