Attracting friends to your garden – the kind with wings!
The novelty of seeing a hummingbird fleeting through the garden or a whimsical butterfly dancing along the tops of flowers never seems to get old. You don’t have to be a kid to enjoy the beauty, wonderment and magic of nature! Want to increase these sightings? Wondering if there are flowers or plants you can put into your yardscape to make these lovely creatures come around more often? If ‘spring fever’ is making you warm up to the idea of getting some gardening started and this is your plan, then it’s time to get this hummingbird and butterfly party started:
Hang it and they will come
Mid-April is a good time to start attracting hummingbirds. The males usually arrive first, then the females come a few weeks after. Start by hanging a hummingbird feeder in your yard. A mid to high branch is best; low enough so you can reach it but high enough to keep birds safe from land animals. The solution should be one part sugar to four parts water (one cup sugar and four cups water). You’ll need to keep the solution fresh; it can ferment and turn into alcohol if it’s not changed frequently, making it dangerous for the birds. Don’t use honey! Honey can actually contain a fungus that can kill the birds.
Keep ‘em coming back for more
Hummingbirds should be seen around the yard from June through October. Keep the hummingbird feeder fresh with a new solution a few times a week (try to find a hummingbird feeder that doesn’t have a lot of parts. Some feeders can grow mold so wash them frequently). June is when you can start to see the butterflies, once the flowers have bloomed. Make sure you plant a variety of blooming annuals and perennials to keep the supply of nectar steady.
What to plant
Butterflies are attracted to many different types of flowers, but they mostly seem to like the wildflowers that grow like weeds. One favorite is Butterfly Bushes. They come in a variety of colors and can grow over 12 feet tall. They’re breathtakingly beautiful when the bloom and they provide great cover in the yard if you’re looking for privacy. They also like Bee Balm, Butterfly Weed, Purple Coneflower, Goldenrod and Queen’s Anne’s Lace. For hummingbirds, one of their favorites is Japanese Honeysuckle. They’ll abandon the feeders when the nectar of this flower is available, but once it’s gone, they’ll be back to the feeders.
Need some more advice on planning a yardscape to attract hummingbirds and butterflies? Call the experts at Joe Antine Landscape Design at (201) 941-2458. Our team can help you plan and plant any type of yard or garden, big or small. Now is the time to get started so call us today!