Fall reFresh

After days of rain & being inside, I find the urge to bust the blues by adding some fall color to the garden. Especially when I can add that splash of color right outside the window for all to enjoy. One of my fall favorites is Plectranthus ‘Mona Lavender.’ This plant is in the mint family and boasts an abundance of attractive lavender flowers which bloom over a long period of time. This hardy plant will last until frost.

As is typical of plants in the mint family, this plant has square stems, opposite leaves and tubular, two-lipped flowers. In this case, each group of flowers are presented on long 6” spikes surrounded by glossy, dark green leaves with a hint of purple underneath. This lovely plant enjoys moist, well-drained soils and partial shade. One note: it will help to remove flower spikes after blooms have finished.

It is readily available & commonly sold as a hanging basket which makes changing the over-grown summer hanging baskets for theseTSG, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Fall Garden Flowers fresh new fall baskets super simple, while providing instant gratification for the cooped up garden lover.

The special benefit is that it also provides late-season nectar for migrating Ruby-throated Hummingbirds. An important eco-service in our Certified Wildlife Habitat, as well as a source of entertainment for our whole family.

Hope you are enjoying this beautiful fall weather, too.

Happy Gardening!

Leave ’em for the Latecomers

Ruby-Throated Hummingbird migration is prompted by hormones, not weather. Go ahead and leave those feeders up as a nectar source for the stragglers coming from the north. Especially since flower sources begin to dwindle during the fall season in most home gardens.

For more fun facts, check out this entertaining and informative video, below. Or, click on this How to Attract Hummingbirds to your Garden link.

#HappyGardening!

It’s time to hang your Hummingbird Feeders!

Hummingbird at Fountain 5-15-13 002Ruby-throated Hummingbirds
are almost here!

It’s been a long cold winter here in the Washington D.C. metro area. But, believe it or not, the Ruby-throated Hummingbirds are being spotted in nearby Virginia. To track their migration or better yet, to participate in a little citizen science, log your first sightings at:
http://www.hummingbirds.net/map.html.

Putting up feeders now is very important since it has not been warm enough in our hummingbird feeders up 4-2 011area for established nectar-giving perennials to bloom. The hummingbirds will need a readily available food source as they migrate north from South America.

I usually supplement my hummingbird feeders by hanging baskets of annual tubular flowers in the red family such as fuchsia or snapdragons, but it is too early to assume that our overnight freezing temperatures are completely a thing of the past. The best rule of thumb is to wait until Mother’s Day to plant annuals in our area in order to avoid spring frosts. If you are like me, waiting requires serious discipline, but you will be rewarded with healthy plants that do not require a daily study of weather maps so you can protect them on very cold nights or worse, replace them when you forget.

So, get out those feeders, make your nectar and hang them up! You may get your first visitor as early as this week.

Here is a sneak peek of what you will soon be enjoying at your feeders:

Learn more here: How to attract Hummingbirds to your Garden.

Happy Gardening!