May Newsletter: Color! Perennials & Hummingbirds

Color, Color, Color!

At the Garden Center we frequently hear “I want to add color!”

To add color to your garden, try layering in color- using cold hardy plantings with colored foliage or variegated foliage as your first layer, such as Loropetalum, Arbicola Trinette or Jack Frost Ligustrum. Add in flowering shrubbery like Roses, Thyrallis, Plumbago, Texas Sage, Oleanders (the list has many choices) as a second layer of plants that will bloom for months on end.

Lorapetalum

Add in more color with some semi-tropical plants but in smaller quantities so when winter damaged you won’t have large areas of “burnt” plants. Some great choices are Hibiscus, Allamanda, Firebush, Jatropha, Crotons & Ti plants. Your third layer would be perennials and annuals such as some of the perennials mentioned below!

Finally, add in items of interest such as bird baths, fountains, benches, statues, garden flags- whatever appeals to you and I promise your garden will be a show stopper!! Fertilize blooming plants regularly with 6-8-10 Sure Gro Bloomer.

Perennial Flowers
Perennial flowers come in all sizes, shapes and colors! Everyone loves flowers and now is a great time for creating a perennial flower bed or adding to an existing one. Perhaps adding flowers that attract butterflies and hummingbirds would be an idea.

Bush Daisy

Try planting Knock Out Roses, Drift Roses, Milkweed, Cigar Plant, Gazanias, Gaillardia, Salvias, Pentas, Lantana, Bush Daisies, Plumbago, Guara and Firecracker.

Hummingbirds are Back!

Shrimp Plant

Artificial feeders will attract hummingbirds. Because feeders can be placed almost anywhere, they increase your opportunities to view hummers from inside your house. However, feeders should not be the sole source of food provided. The sugar solution may appeal to the hummingbirds’ sweet tooth, but it provides little nourishment. Nectar is much more than just water and sugar. If you do use a feeder do not use red food coloring…just sugar and water.

However, a better way to attract them is with plants: here are some suggestions to attract them to your yard.

Perennials: Red Porter Weed, Salvia (many varieties), Bat Face Cuphea, Cigar Plant, Shrimp Plant

Shrubs: Firebush, Bottlebrush, Firespike, Firecracker Plant

Trees: Bottlebrush

Vines: Coral Honeysuckle, Japanese Honeysuckle

Deer

If you live in communities that have a large deer population, you are already aware how frustrating having a garden can sometimes be!

Unfortunately, sometimes gardeners find out that the plants the deer NEVER ate last month or last year are now on the menu! This is often tied to drought periods, overabundance of rain and the birth of young- who often try anything once!

There are many lists produced by Garden Centers and Extension services that try to narrow down what the deer NORMALLY don’t eat, however, none of these lists should be taken as 100% guarantees. If you are new to the area, try chatting to a neighbor to find out what works for them and use the various lists or signed information in the Garden Center as a guideline.

Sadly, we are never able to state categorically that deer won’t try your plant. Sometimes, there is no telling what they will eat, depending on their stress levels.

There are products available to spray if all else fails. Try using Liquid Fence- which is available in the Garden Center.