Attracting Hummingbirds (or, Plants With a Purpose)

Okay, I realize my last post was about plants… but this one is about plants with a purpose!

got boredYou may remember when Foster was smaller, we went on a mission to attract hummingbirds.

The first plan was to put the feeder as close to the window as possible so I could get close up photos of them when the hummingbirds came. We waited…and waited…

…and at least one of us got bored…hummingbird close up 2We did eventually get some good pictures, but there was a problem with the feeders: You have to clean and refill them. (Have I mentioned that I’m…well, let’s just say it… lazy?)fox pillowSo if you read about hummingbirds you find out that you aren’t supposed to let the feeders get cloudy, because you can make the birds sick from mold. You are supposed to change out the food every couple of days in the summer. Being a bit “OCD” (about both germs and the prospect of unintentionally  poisoning hummingbirds) I had a dilemma.plants on tableI don’t like cleaning out moldy bird feeders because they’ve got to have germs in them. But on the other hand I would feel guilty for bringing about the demise of the neighborhood hummingbirds. So clearly I had to do something.plants on grassI looked up “How to keep hummingbird feeders clean” and a couple of the articles I read suggested eliminating the feeders altogether and planting flowers that attract hummingbirds. That works, I thought. But I also know how I am about plants. So I decided to start small, and keep one of the feeders up until the birds noticed the flowers and started feeding from them.large plantI do have one plant that’s doing really well on the patio, but it doesn’t flower, so I went and bought some primroses, begonias, and snapdragons. Then came the problem of figuring out how to get the flowers near the feeders.

wires up closeI had this thrift store shelf that was just waiting to see what its new, whimsical job was going to be. So since I had some wire I decided that was the best way to secure it to the patio posts. (What do you call those post things anyway? I never have known.) I figured this would be temporary until I came up with a better system.second shelfThis is the second shelf with the decorative metal leaves that had been attached to the thrift store one. If you look carefully, you will also notice that the plant pots are wired on as well.begonia1Another shelf wired up to the corner.close up plantsI had some extra plants so I rigged up a shelf by the window, in hopes that the birds would eventually come upto them.

foster in window 2Of course my little helper was on hand…

So now all we have to do is wait…

shelf 1Don’t anyone hold your breath!