September 4, 2008

Want Hummingbirds? Get Black & Blue

Of all the perennials and shrubs in the garden, I do believe the hummingbirds prefer salvia guaranitica 'Black & Blue' above all others! I already had four established B&B in the garden (photo at right, taken in mid-July). The hummingbirds line up to wait their turn to feed from the large tubular blooms, so I have made this plant a priority. With my recent plant shopping trip, I added three container plantings of B&B combined with bright colored lantana. I also added four more salvia B&B plants in the garden. Once the weather turns colder, I'll transplant the salvia from the containers into the garden as well.

I've heard that this salvia can grow from 3 to 6 feet in height and 1 to 3 feet in width. My experience is 3x3. However, my original salvia was planted a year ago, so I may have a much bigger plant in subsequent years. It is supposed to be hardy in zones 7 through 10. Mine are planted in full sun. The deer don't eat it; the bunnies don't eat it. It blooms all summer until frost.

This evening as the sun was setting, the hummingbirds were flitting about our garden. My husband and I were sitting on our front porch watching the evening display. The little birds fed from the newly planted salvia B&B in the garden as well as from the new containers. One little female came up on the porch a few times and hovered about two feet away from us. Priceless!

Freelance travel writer. My current fiction writing projects include a completed manuscript and several works in progress.

By the way, my name is pronounced fred-ah, not freed-ah. Thank you.

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