Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Good To Be Common

Common garden plants are late summer attractions for butterflies and hummingbirds. 

Butterflies simply mass all over tiger lilies and phlox.  They are so busy lapping up the free lunch they seldom even notice a human taking pictures. 

Although hummingbirds are more aware of humans, they will flit for hours over hosta flowers.  Hosta flowers are not typically advertised as perfect hummingbird attractions.  They're not totally tube shaped nor brightly colored.  Many are fragrant and in mass they do attract.  Since I have so much shade in the back yard, I've divided and divided my hosta and now have them in many places.

Butterflies haven't been in evidence much since the heat set in on us.  This spring, a lonely Monarch, a single Mourning Cloak, a few Cabbage Whites and a little blue.  This past week, has seen a dramatic increase in both varieties and numbers.

Lately, I've seen Tiger Swallowtail, loads of Silver Spotted Skippers, Hackberry and a host of others. 

As for our visiting hummingbird, she's been a visitor and not a resident.  Our honeysuckle vines are hummingbird first attractions.  Since they bloom continually all summer, we've never been hummingbird free.  It's then that they branch out to my other flowers and the feeders.  Both are near the screened back porch providing plenty of watching.

Phlox, hosta, bee balm, and tiger lilies are all perennials - require little care and are mostly pest and disease free.  Isn't it nice to be able to have inexpensive and readily available plants providing nectar for both of our favorites; bringing them close for hours of entertainment!    

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