Friday, August 17, 2012

Red Flowers and Hummingbirds

We have 3 large, flowering red trumpet vines and every year I faithfully set out a feeder for the visiting hummingbirds.  I place the feeder in the same location.  I’ve read that hummingbirds will remember their feeders from year to year.  This year I saw hummingbirds in June.  But for the last 3 weeks the little hummingbirds have spent, it seems, their day, from morning to evening in my garden.  Once a week, I bring the feeder in and refill it with sugar water.  (I take 1/4 cup sugar and add it to 1 cup boiling water. Let cool)  I do this refill as quickly as I can, as the little birds truly act confused if their feeder is missing.
How cute is this little guy!
My feeder’s “flower” looks like the flowers of a trumpet vine.  This is at the very back of the yard.  My yard is enclosed by vines, but I leave this little spot open.  I like the old shed behind our alley.  The house behind our house has been unoccupied for many, many years.
Another kind of hummingbird.  These little guys are so curious.  Sometimes they come to where I am and seem to pause in front of me.  I imagine that they are saying “Stop and look at me!” and I do.  They are not hard to photograph.  You hear their wings or their chirping sounds before you see them.
I keep the trumpet vine trimmed and controlled.  Beware of those long seed pods. Trumpet vines can reseed like a weed.  I try to snip the pods off before they can fall and reseed.  But I do have some plants I pull as weeds.
Another trumpet vine.  The hummingbirds drink from these vines and then turn into the garden to the feeder.  They fuss and zoom about when more than one hummingbird approaches the feeder.  They are very territorial.
Penstemon -
This is a geranium plant given to me by my sister-in-law, Susan. Now look how it grows:
I kept the plant indoors during the winter and then brought it outdoors  and planted it in a pot.
Red Blaze rose bloomed in June at the garden gate.
Not red, but this Dreamweaver Rose has been blooming even in our hotter-than-normal summer.  A couple of days ago the television weather man said that over 30 heat-records have been broken this summer. 
I “invented” the yellow "insect preventer-topper".  I took the top of a spray can, the kind that has a little cup inside of the bigger cup.  Ted drilled a hole in the middle, smaller cup.  It holds the connecting wire.  The larger surrounding compartment creates sort of moat.  I put a bit of sugar, water and maybe a touch of olive oil in the “moat”.  The ants will crawl down to reach the feeder and stop at the moat.  It keeps ants out of the feeder. Many people in our area are unaware that hummingbirds migrate through our area. The little birds have definitely found a stop here in my garden.  All day long they seem to feed… PS – Never use honey or food coloring in the sugar formula.  Keep everything well cleaned and rinsed.  Do not use toxic detergents or soaps.  Enjoy these busy little miracles.


  1. I love that Dreamweaver rose. I had it at my last home on an arbor. What a great idea to have the feeder look like a favorite flower.


  2. Gloria, Getting a hummingbird feeder for my garden is on my wishlist. I'll probably wait until I retire and am living here full-time, but it's nice to have the tip about how to keep the sugar water free of ants. (Since my property seems to be a giant anthill, I will most likely need that tip! -Jean

  3. Nice article! Humming birds will always get attracted by these colour. By
    feeding a humming bird in dreamweaver rose is really great idea. The photographs are very nice especially that dreamweaver rose.

  4. Hummingbirds are fascinating to watch. My mother is 92 and still feeds them all through our season. They are great entertainment for her.