As we all tend to our much loved lots, this page will be a resource to stay connected and potentially get some ideas for your own gardening endeavors! May they be plentiful!
Landscaping for Hummingbirds in Overdale Park
Written by Sarah Bergdahl and Craig Nelsen
I’m sitting here on this cold November morning with my coffee watching a hummingbird feed on the Strawberry Tree in my backyard, and reflecting on the joy that this little guy gives me.
I’m not alone in enjoying these tiny little bundles of bird energy – I know there are many people who love seeing them – but the hummingbirds I enjoy in my yard are here all the time, and I don’t have a feeder!
That’s right. I don’t worry about making up sugar water and all the constant attention, mess and fuss that go with it, yet I still get to appreciate hummingbirds in my yard year-around. How is that possible?
Well, maybe we’re just lucky, but from the start when we overhauled the landscaping on our Overdale Park house, we researched and made plant choices that were consistent with birds and butterflies. Now that several years have passed, let me share with you some of the choices that I think have made the local hummingbirds stick around.
The first plant that comes to mind is the Strawberry Tree I mentioned earlier. This isn’t to be confused with a ‘strawberry bush, also a popular plant. No, the Strawberry Tree (Arbutus Unedo) is a lovely drought-tolerant, evergreen, bushy big shrub that makes for good hedging or screening. It also blooms in late fall, and the little white flowers hang on for quite a while, giving the hummingbirds something to snack on almost to the first day of winter. So, long after the abundance of summer is past, they have some flowers.
The other tree that seems to be a favorite of my hummers is the dogwood tree. A northwest native, hardy and beautiful, there must be a reason the hummingbirds like it besides the flowers (and they do like the spring flowers), as they seem to hang out in the branches all year long.
The other favorite here is Weigela. Another hardy shrub (I don’t think this one is native), the Weigela blooms profusely with bell shaped flowers that the hummingbirds love! This is a more traditional spring-summer bloomer.
Finally, while the hummingbirds like a variety of flowers, we’ve found that the Bee Balm (and related Monarda) perennial flowers are definitely favorites! And fuchsias, all varieties, also seem to keep the hummers active all summer and fall.