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melissa_nc_gw

Hello, my name is Melissa and I'm an addict..... :)

18 years ago

I've been lurking here for a good while and thought I'd go ahead and post.

This is my first year putting out feeders and I've really gotta thank all of you folks for all the helpful suggestions and advice that you unknowingly gave me!

I live in an apartment and wasn't sure if hummingbirds would find me, but they did! I have 4 regulars...1 male, 1 female and two juveniles and I have just completely fallen in love with all of them. I actually have a little area out front that I have planted flowers in and am rethinking what to plant for next year as I want it to be as hummer friendly as possible. I have a ton of things growing in pots out back and room to add more. I have two feeders...one at my kitchen window and one hanging on my patio so we can watch them close up. Someone on here suggested putting a little branch perch on the feeder chain and I did that and it works beautifully! My adult male in particular seems to like those perches...guess it gives him a great vantage point to see and chase the others.

Anyway, just wanted to introduce myself and say thanks...and ask...what in the world does everyone do when the hummers migrate?? Dishwashing sure is gonna be boring again without their antics to watch.

Comments (30)

  • 18 years ago

    Welcome aboard Melissa,There is no way that your going to turn your back on them, Your Hooked. but fortunatly I don't have withdrawles, So I await comments from the East Coast.

  • 18 years ago

    Hi Melissa and welcome to the addict's forum! LOL A place where we can relate to the fact that our friends and family think we've lost our minds when we start screaming upon that first sighting of the first hummer of the season at are spots (at least those of us in places where they migrate away for winter).

    I too live in an apartment, but way up in the sky on the 18th floor and never ever EVER expected to see a hummer. But there she was... She came the first time last August and remembered my spot and returned (or at least I saw her for the first time) at the beginning of June. And she has been here daily, all day since... although her appearances the last week or so have been much more sporadic. :-(

    At this point, once they leave, many will leave the feeders out and try to keep the plants blooming as long as they can to help the stragglers along and this with the hope that the straggler will remember when it comes time next year.

    Like you, I "rethought" for this year and proceeded to buy and plant in pots:

    1.) Salvia guarantica 'Black and Blue'
    2.) Monarda didyma 'Jacob Cline' (a bee balm)
    3.) Heuchera x brizoides 'Firefly' (Coral bells)
    4.) Dicentra spectabilis (Bleeding hearts)
    5.) Polemonium caeruleum 'Brise d'Anjou' (a variegated Jacob's ladder)
    6.) Agastache 'Tutti Fruiti' (a hyssop)
    7.) Various cannas (which may or may not bloom this year - they have been so slow - including 'The President')
    8.) Salvia elegans (Pineapple sage)
    9.) Various annual vines including Scarlet Runner beans, morning glories, cardinal climbers, etc.

    There may be others I forgot about... one that comes to mind is my having started seeds for Red Hot Pokers, which are now in gallon containers as nice strappy seedlings... but the above were the major ones I got this year. These are in addition to my Goldflame and Mandarin honeysuckles, my lilacs, blueberries, hosta, stephanotis, and tropical hibiscus.

    The plants that I actually observed her nectaring from aside from the feeder, which is what she mainly used, were the honeysuckles, bee balm, stephanotis, and Scarlet Runner Beans (although I don't know how the heck she did the SRBs because the flowers are sortof stubby, but she kept pecking at them... LOL).

    Anyway, trying to overwinter some of the marginal perennials like the salvias is going to make me busy enough!

    And yes the perch idea was neat. The same day I put one out per mimidi's recommendations for what to use, my little one plopped right on it. Haven't seen her on it since - perhaps because the stupid yellow jackets keep bothering her - but I have seen her perch on my hibiscus briefly and on the SRBs.

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  • 18 years ago

    I did forget some shrubs that brought her here in the first place - my weigelas, and particularly my "Red Prince". I have them positioned by my rail and the "Red Prince" is trained so that it weeps over the rail with long branches that erupt in a gorgeous spray of flowers in late spring. Last August, it had some reblooms on it and that is where I spotted her for the very first time - sipping out of the trumpet flowers on it that dangled on the other side of the fencing!

  • 18 years ago

    Hi Melissa,

    I, too, am an addict and new to this forum (and gardening, for that matter). I get up early every morning before the kids do so that I can sit in the sunroom and watch my three friends. It is funny to see two fly off fighting over a feeder and then the third sneaks in to feed. Please post some pictures if you can of your birds. Your setup sounds lovely.

    Macy

  • 18 years ago

    Hello Melissa and welcome!
    It's nice to hear that you have such an early sucess with the hummers.N.C. sure seems like a RubyThroat Hub , and I'm sure you are happy to be among all those hummingbirds.
    -stephen

  • 18 years ago

    Thanks for the welcomes and it sure is nice to be able to talk with others who love these little birds. I just can't imagine not having them around now.

    I think I have zone envy, Alan. How wonderful it must be to have them year round.

    Jenny, that is just so cool that a hummer will come visit on the 18th floor...bet that's gotten more than one double take from guests, LOL. I'm pondering your list of plants...that's one heck of a balcony garden you've got going. I hadn't even thought of Agastache for hummers...I know the bees sure love them. My hummers like the swamp hibiscus and of all things, my two baskets of red petunias. Haven't quite figured that out, aside from they are red...I hope they aren't too attached as I've decided I'm done with petunias. I have some cypress vine growing up a shepherd's hook and it's huge...but NO flowers. No idea why it isn't blooming so that may be off the list next year.

    I just got back from Monticello and I got some Lobelia cardinalis, Texas sage, some old fashioned red small flowered Zinnia, and Pentapetes to try out. I haven't seen the Jacob Cline monarda around here, but I keep looking.

    Thanks for the welcome, Stephen! It's funny...I've lived here most of my life and had no idea all these hummers were about. I carried on about them so much that my stepmom put up feeders at their house and now they have a male and female visiting regularly. The whole family is looking for them now. :)

    Macy, hi! I have been dropping gigantic hints to my family that I would really love to have a decent camera to take pics...maybe for Christmas. I tried taking pictures with a little disposable camera but they really turned out awful. These hummers are so used to me that I was almost standing on top of Emma (my adult female) and it was still a bad picture. This one is about the best of the lot:

    {{gwi:994102}}

  • 18 years ago

    Welcome Melissa! That's a beautiful picture!I can't believe you took that with a disposable camera Thats all I ever used until last year and my pictures never turned out that good! Well I for one will be extremely depressed when they are gone and will have to start fixing up my house and dream of travel to Mexico or Ecuador or somewhere with lots of hummers Sarah

  • 18 years ago

    Hello Melissa and Macy, Welcome to "our hummer world"
    It sound like both of you have tons of hummer friendly plants on your balconies...I have been using feeders for three years and always had some potted plants on our patio, but actually tried to put in a hummer friendly garden this year! My local nursery wasn't much help, even with my list of "hummer plants" from my forum friends. I still have feeders out and the hummers are using them more than the plants. I guess my hummer garden isn't very hummer friendly after all...I'm so glad both of you posted, hopefully you'll be regulars!! By the way, I pass the "hummerless" months by looking at a beautiful hummer suncatcher one of my daughers bought me and at some hummer wood pictures my husband made for me. Hopefully, I'll be able to winter garden a few of my plants too, if I can find any they'll go to!
    Happy hummering, Verna

  • 18 years ago

    Melissa - yep, the whole balcony gets a double-take... LOL But then in a way, the plants are a great distraction because often folks get woozy going out there (it took me 3 months when I first moved here, to be able to stay out there for any extended time - now no problem).

    I almost bought some red petunias this year but then the place that had them would only sell them as a flat. :-( I may try to find some just the same.

    The Agastache was one of the top recommendations and mine has a really nice juicyfruit scent on the newest blooms... which surprised me because I bought it in bloom and it didn't smell like that then. Haven't seen my little one use it but then again, it's in an odd spot so I can't always see where she might go.

  • 18 years ago

    Hi Melissa, from a fellow North Carolinian. I, too, am nuts over these wonderful little birds and hate it when they migrate. Last year I bought books and a video to get me through the winter, but it just wasn't the same.

    Welcome to the forum! Lots of good information here (plus you don't feel so "nutty" when you hear from others who are as hummer-obsessed as you are).

  • 18 years ago

    Welcome Melissa. I am glad you came out of the closet and joined us. This is an addicition that you don't want cured.

  • 18 years ago

    Melissa you are in the right place. All addicts welcomed. I have been trying to get hummers myself in my .19 acres of suberbian sprawl for 2 years. Last fall a last migrant showed up to tank up for the trip and that was tha last I saw until last week. I *finally* have not one but 2- and I couldn't be more thilled. Especially too seeing when we first moved in my neighbor said, "You'll never get a hummingbird here." Ha!..Told her so!

  • 18 years ago

    Hi Melissa, I'm a fellow North Carolinian,(western part). We're hooked on those hummers too, they are so much fun. We have 3 females and 1 male that visit all day. They zoom in and out, chasing each other around. You never know when you might be in the middle as they come from nowhere. This year my husband said to put another feeder out, maybe they wouldn't fight so much. Right! They sip at one, then go right to the other. Everyone who visits enjoys them, lots of people don't put feeders out so never saw one close up. My son's girlfriend brought me some cypress vine, said it was supposed to attract hummers. so far it hasn't bloomed so I don't know if they'll go for it or not. I sure love those little guys, easy to get addicted to them.

  • 18 years ago

    Oh, they will go for cypress vine, alright. In fact, they love it.

  • 18 years ago

    Ah, yet another addict!! Isn't it WONDERFUL?? I used to post rather frequently but work and a long commute curtails my fun. I still love sharing my hummer/plant addiction with everyone here when I can. You are NOT alone. We are all hooked on hummers and happily so.

  • 18 years ago

    Hi Melissa...... and welcome!! What do we do when they migrate?..... well let's just say it's a long winter/ but try and keep busy with the cardinals/juncos, etc and give them some TLC during the cold months. But watch what happens ,,when the hummers begin to "migrate" - We're in here reading every post showing them "moving north"; reading every migration map there is; and die with envy when Alan in La and others tell us all about their year long "residents". :o) Then you begin to "feel guilty" when you get one in your state/ and know they passed poor Dakster by in her neighboring state - ohhhhh it's a very "interesting addiction".... but you'll make great hummie friends in here!! Have FUN.......

  • 18 years ago

    Hi Melissa, welcome! They are also my new addiction, so you're not alone.

  • 18 years ago

    welcome, melissa! that's a great picture, thanks.
    what do we do after they leave? move plants. plan next year's garden. move plants again. expand "the list" to include every plant ever mentioned favorably all winter on this forum. re-plan next year's garden. make the beds bigger. move plants again.
    'organize' your seeds. several times. occasionally just go look at them. trade them with gardenweb friends. organize them some more.
    don't visit the winter-sowing forum or read their faq if you don't want an off-season addiction. I'm already saving 'containers' now.
    :-)

    hi, jardines, good to hear from you!

    dakster, I wonder if one of your birds is the one from last year?

  • 18 years ago

    Wow...thanks for all the warm welcomes...it's nice to meet you all! I worked yesterday and didn't get a chance to come in and post.

    Standard, I think I've got a jump start on the making list, remake list, revise rinse repeat thing, LOL. My problem is I want one of everything so I can see what my particular hummers like best. Too late about winter sowing...I was reading in there a few days ago and it seems to me well worth trying. I work in a restaurant so I can get my hands on containers easily which'll help.

    NavyMom, I already feel guilty reading posts where someone isn't seeing hummers at their home...makes you wish you could send a couple of yours over to visit. :)

    Cabin Gal, maybe I just need to be patient then about the cypress vine. Btw, that's how I ended up with a second feeder out back...thought that they wouldn't fight with another one...pffftttttt, not a chance, LOL. They just chase each other from feeder to feeder now.

    dakster, that's terrific and good for you to have the patience to prove that neighbor wrong! :)

    Sarah, thanks about the picture and I know what you mean about Mexico. I've never in my life wanted to go to Mexico (nothing personal, I'm just a stay at home kinda gal, LOL)...until.......hummingbirds. It's awfully tempting isn't it??

    Jenny, I'm gonna try an agastache just for the heck of it now. What the heck...anything that smells like juicy fruit is worth having around. :)

    Verna, that suncatcher sounds like a cheerful reminder! Do you sit outside and watch your hummers or mostly see them from a window inside? The reason I ask is cause I thought mine were only using the feeders too until I went out and watched for awhile. They are in and out of the flowers so fast and I can't see that from inside...so maybe yours are using the flowers...you just can't see them doing it?

    Roberta, mimidi, jardines, and catwhiskas...it's nice to meet you all and thanks for making me feel a little less nuts! LOL

  • 18 years ago

    Melissa,
    Welcome from one addict to another. As you can see you are in excellent company.

    Penny

  • 18 years ago

    Melissa, I am confused about that cypress vine too. It's growing up a string type trellis but no blooms! I keep looking every day for some sign of a bud. You'd figure that by now, August it'd be blooming. I read that it could become invasive by self seeding but at the rate it's going that's not a problem. I thought maybe since I'm in the mts. that was why, but you're in the piedmont and yours isn't blooming either. Maybe it's just a late bloomer? BTW, at least the second feeder gives us enjoyment even if the hummers still scrap. I bet they'd fight even if there were 10 feeders.
    cabin gal

  • 18 years ago

    Melissa and cabin gal I am north of both of you and The extremely invasive cypress vine will bloom for you and the hummers love it I tried to get a picture of the hummer at the flower but it turned out too blury. But I managed to get this picture yesterday afternoon sorry no hummer just cypress vine it's invasive but the hummers love it so do I now Sarah

  • 18 years ago

    My cypess vine started blooming last week and won't be really full blast for another week or more. If you start them in 9 packs in April and plant them by mid May you can expect blooms much earlier; the same story with cardinal climber. The plant is incredibly invasive, in my gardens it literally comes up by the thousands. Fortunately it is easy to pull and I have to weed constantly anyway, so it doesn't really add much labor. I'd think twice if I was one of those lucky gardeners who don't have a major weed problem. In that case I'd go for cardinal climber who's seeds must be purchased and planted each year.

  • 18 years ago

    Hi Melissa and welcome! We're all passionate about hummers here on the HB Forum. I live on the western edge of the RT range, so I don't get the numbers that the more easternly folks do, but I sure get excited about the ones I do get. Everything I've planted in the last year is for the hummingbirds.

    My cypress vines started blooming a couple of weeks ago and it was after that I started getting more visits. They really do love it!

    This is one addiction that's not hazardous to your health..unless of course you spend ALL your money on hummingbird plants LOL. Linda

  • 18 years ago

    Thanks for the welcome, Penny and it is great company to be in! I really enjoy coming in here and reading about everyone's gardens and hummers.

    Linda...erm, spend all my money on plants? LOL...someone from my family ratted me out did they? Do you get any of the western hummers there in OK? I've been reading some about the Rufous hummingbird and how it is more often being seen in areas previously not thought to be in its range.

    Sarah, good picture....that gives me hope! :) Here's the odd thing and Cabin Gal might can relate...I planted these from seed and mine's been up and growing since end of May. I thought I read that they bloom approx. 30 days after they sprout, but so far nothing...great vines, but no flowers. So today, I went over to meet another GardenWeb member, Quirkpod (who is a terrific, funny lady BTW) and she also has plenty of vine.....and no flowers. Hers has been in the ground awhile too. So....I dunno...everything else has been growing weird here this year. Just hope it blooms before the hummers get gone.

  • 18 years ago

    Yeah, we planted ours from seed too. they have been up since probably early June, maybe late May. It has been a funny growing season, so maybe they'll just burst into bloom all at once, hope hope. Yes, thanks for the picture Sarah. Now at least we know that they do bloom, looks like they stand out pretty far once they bloom. Be anxious to hear when Melissa's bloom, keep me posted!
    cabin gal

  • 18 years ago

    Melissa, I do watch my hummers mostly from inside, at the kitchen window while I'm cooking or cleaning up.I have two feeders that I can see from there. I have one window feeder and one on a large shepherds hook that has a hummer on it (what else??) We have had more hot humid weather than usual this summer, but I've been trying to sit on the patio a bit more so I can watch the hummers better! I am noticing they are using some of the flowers, and boy are they fast at that! They are actually using flowers that are not ones I've heard attract them.
    My husband made me a very large hummer garden this year...it is about 5 feet wide and runs almost the length of our "typical" ranch house. I really couldn't even afford to fill it and I didn't know what to try. I have a bit of everything and we don't even know where some of the flowers came from! We have two (taller than my 6'4" husband) sunflower plants that we did not plant...and I saw them use them this morning! I also have some regular salvia (can't even find any Black and Blue) that is a medium blue but the flowers are tiny, and also my red geraniums. THey seem to like both of those. I bought about 4 plants that were flowering at the time (and spent too much for them)and the hummers never even looked at them...now the flowers are gone and the plants not doing well. I'm definitely not a great gardener =( My red morning glory plant (I got the seeds from Helena on the forum) has tons of leaves and vines but no flowers. My husband even cut it back as it was so huge, and the Japenese beetles were eating the heck out of it. I hope my garden will be better next year, and I maybe will order some plants from somewhere...I really want a Black and Blue.
    Now that I've rambled on and on where did you get the cute little hummer by your name in your posts??
    Hope your cyprus vine blooms soon.
    Verna

  • 18 years ago

    Verna - I bought my B & B and my Jacob Cline monarda from Digging Dog Nursery. Got nice healthy plants with amazingly dense root systems. They have alot of different hummer plants as well including a variety of salvias, etc.

  • 18 years ago

    Thanks Jenny, I went to their site and bookmarked it!!
    Verna

  • 18 years ago

    Melissa..I'm not too good at identifying the different species yet. But I don't think I've seen any Rufous. However, I do believe there was a Black-chinned HB here last fall. Course it may have been an immature male RT, too. Linda

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