I threw caution to the wind...

dakster(z6 Cent.CT)May 14, 2007

...and bought one of those gardens that is already "made" for you. I was having so much trouble deciding what to do in the front of my house I was getting overwhelmed and just couldn't take it anymore...it looks so bleak. There was a coupon from Spring Hill Nursery.. $25 off orders $50 or more.. so I bought the pre-arranged Butterfly/Hummingbird Garden. Please tell me I did ok..

I got all of this for about $44 bucks:

1- Black Knight Butterfly Bush

3- Red Penstemons

3- White Dragonflowers

3- Keys of Heaven

3- Mixed Monardas

3- Wild Romance Asters

I figure if some things croak or don't do well or even just plain old flunk, then I just chalk it up to a learning curve, right?

They also had *4* Butterfly Bushes, one of each color, for $20..I couldn't belive it!

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penny1947(z6 WNY)

I have had no luck in the past with the mixed Monarda but the bees loved them. I have never seen hummers use asters but butterflies will. Dragon flower is another name for obedient plant and from what I understand can be quite invasive and again it is used more in butterfly habitats. Keys of heaven is also known as Jupiter's Beard .... another butterfly plant. Black knight is used by both hummers and butterflies and Penstemon barbatus 'Coccineus' is another butterfly plant. Hummers may use some of the plants but they are all mainly butterfly plants.


    Bookmark   May 17, 2007 at 5:34PM
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dakster(z6 Cent.CT)

Thank you for your response Penny.. due to that I called to cancel my order. The last thing I need is invasives. Ick. Thank you for helping me make a wise decision.

Learning curve: Don't trust the person who creates the gardens! :)

    Bookmark   May 18, 2007 at 8:29AM
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penny1947(z6 WNY)

When in doubt don't be afraid to ask before placing that order. I know how frustrating it can be to try and find just the right plants for a particular area and function. I started with just a couple of perennials and filled in with annuals the first year or maybe two. Little by little I added a perennial here and there but a few simple garden annuals helped it look just right even when it wasn't, Get a plant, statue, birdbath or piece of sculpture that you really like and use that as a focal point then you can plan your bed around that. Depending on the depth and width of your bed a nice butterfly bush would make a good focal point and the butterflies and the hummers would both use it. One of the hardiest butterfly Bushes is Buddleia davidii 'Royal Red' It is a little hardier than Black Knight so you should have no problem with it coming back year after year.

Penstemon cardinalis and Penstemon eatonii are both hummingbird Penstemons. Eatonii is hardy to zone 4 and cardinalis is hardy to zone 5

If you want monardas I would go with Jacob's Cline. It does spread but not so much that it will take over and sprout everywhere. It will just form a bigger clump. you can root prune it to keep it the size you want it. It is also much less prone to powdery mildew which the mixed varieties are more prone to.

You could still fill in with the asters. All these should be pretty easy to find locally.


    Bookmark   May 18, 2007 at 5:38PM
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penny1947(z6 WNY)

Here is another plant for you to consider ... Pentas. It is both an butterfly and hummer plant and there is quite a bit of nectar in each little flower. The flower heads are clusters of small star shaped flowers and come in white, pink, lilac and red. They are annuals for us up in the northeast but you can take cuttings to start new plants in late summer. The bloom from spring onward. I just picked up 4 plants at our local farmers market and wish I could have gotten more. There are two varieties the tall ones that are about 12 to 18 inches tall and the petits which are about 10-14 inches tall. They take full sun but will still bloom in well in at least 4-6 hrs of sun and they are good companion plants with Butterfly bush.


    Bookmark   May 19, 2007 at 8:07AM
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dakster(z6 Cent.CT)

Thank for the info Penny. You are so knowledgable with plants!!

    Bookmark   May 21, 2007 at 3:38PM
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Hi there:

Well I have all kinds if flowers, and my Hummers seem
not to care.They would rather just sit on or fight over
the three feeder I have up. I have never seen so many
Hummers than I have this year. I usually had 1 feeder, but
I added two more this year. Any time I look outside I see
at least 6 or more Hummers fighting over them. I have seen
many times 2 or as many as 4 on my feeders. I guess they
may all be Females, as Males are more agressive and fight
for territory. It is quite exciting to go and sit on the
patio and watch.They buzz by you so close and their high
chattering with each other is charming.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2007 at 8:35AM
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dakster(z6 Cent.CT)


To make a long story short..it seems my order was never cancelled, yet it is still on its way to me but my card was never charged. So confused.

I went and dug into my pockets to find more money for the humbrats and found some more Gartenmeister- which I know they like in my yard, and I scored on finding the Cigar Plant which I have not yet tried in my yard. Although I hear some of you have had success with it. I think it was all prety decntly priced as well.. $16 for 4 plants; 2 of each. I had another Gartenmeister left over from last year..it saved well, so I planted all 3 together. I think it looks nice, pretty and full.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2007 at 11:59AM
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penny1947(z6 WNY)

Good deal on the fuchsia and the cuphea. I have my two large fuchsias from last year plus half a dozen rooted cuttings from one of the plants. I am going to be getting a cuphea ignea David Verity. I had the regular cuphea ignea but the flowers were just too tight for our Rubythroats.

Well now we know where all the hummers are that usually migrate to the northeast....They are still down south. That is about the 5th report I have heard of people with much larger than usual flocks of hummers from Louisiana, Ark, Miss and over to the southeast.


    Bookmark   May 22, 2007 at 8:38PM
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dakster(z6 Cent.CT)

Well..I'm not sure, but I think I might have 2 females. Although maybe not. I only say thast because sometimes she leaves in one direction, sometimes in another. But other than that they have similar habits; i.e. refusal to perch while drinking. She likes to hover. Go figure! No rest for the wearly I guess.

Wow..a flock of hummers..now that would be something.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2007 at 7:53AM
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