The Hosta – A Shade Loving Perennial

Written by Bonnie P. Carrier

My first introductions to Hostas were four small green and white clumps edging a small section of my mother- in- laws driveway.

I was not terribly impressed, they looked more like scraggly lettuce plants with a few sticks growing out ofrepparttar middle plus their size never seemed to change from year to year.

Fast forward a few years, I now had my own home with visions of gorgeous gardens blooming in my head.

The property was surrounded by trees, which we loved not only forrepparttar 139152 privacy butrepparttar 139153 house was kept quite cool duringrepparttar 139154 hot summer months.

I soon discovered that all that shade may have been good for keeping our home and family cool it wasn’t great for growing certain perennials as most I’d looked at all said full sun.

During trips to local nurseries looking for shade loving plants I kept noticing Hostas, thinking “Oh, great spindly lettuce” I went ahead and purchased two plants, I was desperate to plant something alongrepparttar 139155 perimeter of those wonderful trees.

The two green plants with white stripes found a home next to a simple concrete birdbath, one on either side.

Duringrepparttar 139156 summer I weeded around them, watered and feed them every two weeks but didn’t really hold much hope that they would turn into anything special.

The following Spring during winter clean up I noticed small green shoots popping up besiderepparttar 139157 birdbath but again didn’t get to excited.

Well, by mid summer those two had tripled in size were very full and looked absolutely beautiful.

I began to rethink my first impression of Hostas and after doing some research discovered there are hundreds – actually more then 2600- of varieties available.

Leaf colors include green, blue, gold and white. The leaves can either be a solid color or variegated with a second color mixed inrepparttar 139158 center or alongrepparttar 139159 edges.

Several plants in various shades can really dress up a shady corner. By mixing several ofrepparttar 139160 brighter hues along with darker shades can be quite dramatic.

Another way to use Hostas is by mixing them with other shade plants, which can include Perennials such as Astilbe, Bleeding Heart and Japanese Painted Ferns also, Shrubs like Azalea, Hydrangea or Sweet Pepperbush.

You’re not limited to using shade plants just within wooded areas or around trees.

Hummingbirds … Attracting Those Little Flying Powerhouses

Written by Bonnie P. Carrier

It’s early in May a beautiful fairly warm day so I’ve decided to enjoy it and sit onrepparttar front porch.

While relaxing in a rocking chair with my eyes closed, just enjoyingrepparttar 139151 sun and early warmth I begin to hear a sound off inrepparttar 139152 distance.

At first it’s not recognizable, sounds almost like a hum from a model airplane.

As it begins to get louder I’m beginning to think I know whatrepparttar 139153 source of this strange noise is.

I open my eyes and sure enough just as I thought there is a small green colored Hummer hovering right atrepparttar 139154 edge ofrepparttar 139155 porch – coincidentally right where a feeder normally hangs – now I’m not certain but he appears to be looking right at me like he’s trying to tell me “Hey, I’m back, where’srepparttar 139156 food”.

Every year it’srepparttar 139157 same, they show up around Mothers Day and every year I’m always a little surprised to see them and of course not prepared.

Well so much for my relaxing afternoon, it’s time to get outrepparttar 139158 feeders, clean them and make up some food then get them hung.

And so begins another season with these marvelous entertaining little birds.

Attracting Hummingbirds:

Hummers have a good memory they can remember where to find food sources from previous years. However in order for them to remember your home you will first need to let them know about it.

There are two ways to accomplish this, first by planting or hanging flowers that will attract them, second is to have an additional food source such as a hanging feeder that you keep filled with a syrup solution.

Flowers that have red to orange blossom colors are known to attract them but they will visit any color if they discover sufficient nectar.

Blossom shape is also important as this little birds beak is long and tapered, so downward-hanging blossom – Honeysuckle is a good example – are a favorite.

Several other varieties are as follows. These particular flowers are geared forrepparttar 139159 Northeast – where I happen to live – so you will want to check within your region for appropriate blooms.

Perennials: ·Bee Balm ·Salvia ·Foxglove ·Lilac ·Hollyhock ·Forsythia

There are several Annuals that will also satisfy their little palettes.

·Fuchsia ·Impatiens ·Petunia

As these are favorites inrepparttar 139160 use of hanging baskets each summer try hanging several around your home. The most common place of course is on your front porch or on hooks around a deck or patio; another idea is to hang some right from tree branches. I’ve done this and not only dorepparttar 139161 Hummers like them; it also adds color and interest out inrepparttar 139162 yard.

Putting Up A Feeder:

From elaborately decorated glass to simple plastic there are numerous types of feeders to choose from.

I will tell you from experience, I’ve used both –repparttar 139163 decorated one just because it was pretty,repparttar 139164 Hummers really didn’t care – and I ended up with a simple teardrop shaped clear glass container with perches aroundrepparttar 139165 base, it was easy to tell whenrepparttar 139166 solution was low and simple to take apart.

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