by Ken Lain, The Mountain Gardener, Watters Garden Center
I have noticed that some flowers attract hummingbirds better than others; the same flowers also attract butterflies. Try planting some of the Lain casa favorites.
Archangel Angelonia(Summer Snapdragon)—Large, vibrant flowers on this plant thrive in the summer heat; blooms. Deer and rabbit resistant. Buzz Magenta Butterfly Bush— Full-size graceful, tapering flowers cover the compact, hip-high plant from summer through fall.
Fuchsia— They have one of the brightest flowers for a shade-loving plant. Blooms usually are pink, orange, yellow and have a drooping habit at the stem’ end.
Impatiens— This is a popular cottage garden plant because of its long-lasting bloom in the shade. It flowers from spring, all the way through to the first frost. Impatiens have simple, five-petal flowers that bloom in various colors from blue, orange, pink, purple, white, and red.
Monarch Promise Milkweed— This is the butterflies’ choice of place to lay their eggs. It’s also a source of nectar through their migrations. The contrast between the tiny blossoms of orange and red against the spiky variegated leaves make this plant uniquely stunning. Partial shade encourages lusher leaves and blooms all summer.
Santa Barbara Salvia— A superior plant for hot, dry slopes, it is rugged enough for rock gardens. It is suitable for xeriscape or wild gardens in the driest climate. Stellar in large artistic pots. Javelina, deer and rabbits leave this plant alone.
Kelos Magenta Celosia— There are few flowers as showy as celosia. Whether you plant the plumed type, which produce striking upright spires, or the crested type, which has a fascinating twisted form.
Petunias— These a staple in local containers, hanging baskets and window boxes because of their long-lasting blooms and a wide variety of colors.
Pink Sparkle Spirea— Beautiful pink flowers emerge in early summer and then re-bloom again in fall. As an added bonus, fall flowers appear down the stem, giving the appearance of an even fuller shrub. Minimal maintenance.
Summer Splash Nierembergia— Reseeds easily and great for hot locations. Very easy to grow and perfect for patio pots and baskets. Birds need a reliable water source and are satisfied with a simple birdbath or saucer filled with an inch or so of water. I find that birds don’t bathe often, but they love to rest on and sip at the edge of a water source