Hummingbirds seem to be flitting about everywhere, delivering whimsy and wonder to rooms and gardens alike. Why not make them at home in yours?
FLIGHTS OF FANCY
Harlequin’s contemporary take on botanical etchings creates a collection of lively hummingbird-themed wall papers and fabrics for the home. Amazilia Collection available through the trade. harlequin.uk.com
PLANT A HUMMINGBIRD HAVEN
The experts at the Red Butte Water Conservation Garden, offers tips for attracting hummingbirds into your yard. Broad-tailed and black-chinned hummingbirds both breed and spend their summers in the mountains and valleys of Northern Utah. With thoughtful plant selections, you can attract hummingbirds and provide high-quality nectar throughout the summer to encourage them to stick around.
Hummingbirds tend to prefer plants with tubular flowers. Red Hot Pokers (Kniphofia), Beardtongues (Penstemon), and Hummingbird Mint (Agastache cana, rupestris and hybrids) are all excellent, drought-tolerant choices that are available in a dazzling array of colors and can fit well with almost any planting scheme.
Native Milkweeds (Asclepias) are also beloved by hummingbirds and have extra conservation value as host plants and nectar sources for monarch butterflies.
If you’re looking for woody plants to bring hummingbirds to your yard, try the pink to burgundy flowered, shrubby Desert Willow or the popular Mimosa and Northern Catalpa trees. Providing dependable, perennial sources of nectar for hummingbirds can help keep them coming back to your yard year after year and give you wonderful flower displays as well.
DINNER IS SERVED
There is no reason to buy commercial nectar mix, according to Rob McFarland of Ward & Child—The Garden Store. “Just dissolve one cup of sugar in four cups of boiling-hot water,” he says. “And don’t add food coloring as it can harm the birds.” This pro stores unused syrup in the refrigerator (it keeps for weeks) and replaces food in his feeder as frequently as every 3-4 days during summer as it can turn rancid in the heat.
Make Them Feel at Home
Make your feathered friends feel welcome with indoor artworks by painter Jenna von Benedickt. Jenna has loved to create hummingbird art since around 2013 – it’s been her longest art series. She never gets tired of seeing hummingbirds in person or creating pieces with abstract designs and symbolism.
One meaning of her name is “little bird” and since she loves the colors of hummingbirds, she choose them to be her bird. “I think it’s interesting that birds are often symbols for messengers, bridging the gap between heaven and earth, or different spheres of thought, so I created the series ‘#saintedbirds.’ I like the idea of asking myself, ‘What kind of positive messages am I giving the world?’ Not always, but I try to use hummingbirds I have seen locally or here in the Rockies, and I like trying to connect my paintings with the places I’ve seen and been to through color. Utah has so much color to offer in its diverse landscapes as well as people.”