Thirty Days in the Garden: When Hummingbirds Stop By

Anna’s hummingbirds are frequent guests in the garden. They love sipping nectar from the abutilon and the sage, both of which grow in abundance. The purple flowering sage flowers for months.

Anna’s hummingbird
Those small purple flowers are a hummingbird magnet

It’s easy to love a plant that looks good, with a wonderfully subtle scent that attracts beautiful hummingbirds and beneficial bees. By mid summer the bees are scouring the plant for pollen. I like sitting on the garden swing as they work. I prune the shrub for shape once a year and do a bit of trimming over the summer months so we can still use the path.

Salvia in bloom, a hummingbird favorite

The abutilon needs a hard prune once a year, and then they’re off to grow for the season. We have three planted along the fence line in the back garden and another one near the front window.

Ana’s hummingbird taking a sip from the abutilon

The one concerning factor with the abutilon is that if flowers all over. I remove the flowers from the lower branches so the hummingbirds remain high and away from Tessa’s view.

Tessa near the abutilon

With all these inviting plants, you might wonder why we hang hummingbird feeders. The simple answer: for the pure joy of seeing these tiny birds up close near the windows year-round. Hummingbirds need to eat every 15 minutes, so if you keep your feeders clean and full they’ll return again and again. In fact, hummingbirds come to recognize you over time as the keeper of the sugar water. They’ll buzz overhead if the feeder is low, or simply fly toward your face for a brief visit.

Hummingbird at small feeder

They are a delight to behold.