Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Beverly Sills Iris and More Hummingbird Talk

The clump of Beverly Sills bearded iris began blooming over the weekend. The lovely soft pink is welcomed each summer at the Cedar Bluff gardens.

My recollection about buying this iris is that we met Mom and Dad (Val and Stan) at the green house in Clare, Michigan that we all liked to visit. I'm thinking that Dad and I picked out this iris for the gardens at Graywood Farm. It has been a great choice as it blossoms year after year, always reminding us of the soaring soprano voice of opera star, Beverly Sills, for whom this plant is named.

Here's another image of the hummingbirds from the same gardens. This little guy perches on the shepherd's hook that holds the feeder. He will pause there and then dive to the feeder. I know that the photo could be clearer, but am sharing it due to the coloration of the little bird and the evening nonchalance that his pose shows. The tilt of his head says "I own this garden!"

Sister Heidi left a comment on yesterday's hummingbird post asking about how we came to attract the birds. I really can't remember a time when the hummers didn't come to the feeder at the lake. Maybe the neighbors (not really close to us, but across the highway) were feeding hummers. Maybe it is the combination of cedars and ashes and cottonwoods. Maybe the wildflower and weed blossoms attract them.

Whatever the situation, we put the feeders out in spring and the birds come. This year they were buzzing our heads even before the feeder went out. One of my golf friends says that the progeny return with the parents year after year.

I don't use red syrup or add red coloring to the syrup. The flowers in the garden that attract bees seem to be what also attract hummingbirds. Right now the chives (lavender), iris (pink, blue, white, purple), and salvia (purple) are blossoming, so maybe the red isn't as important as the blossoms.

This oriole found the feeder, too. The hummingbirds soon ganged up on the oriole and reclaimed the feeder. I guess my advice for attracting the birds would be to keep trying. That's what we did at the farm and eventually we had several that return year after year.

Copyright 2012
Wanda Hayes Eichler


  1. Thanks Wanda! Keep trying was my uneducated guess. Good to have that affirmed by your experience. I have lots of purple and yellow flowers right by the feeder - Siberian irises, primroses (a BIG batch), monarda and a butterfly bush. The peonies just finished up. There's also the blackberry bushes and the strawberries. I'm putting that feeder out and trying again!

  2. It's so good to read about your birds and gardens. We had a huge amount of rain at home while in London (5 inches), so everything is huge including the weeds. I've never seen the peonies as tall as now. They're flopping. Lots of work to catch up. Yesterday I saw a hummingbird at some dark pink columbines. We don't have many hummers and the ones I see are very small. But I know it's time to put the feeder out.

  3. The early spring certainly has pushed lots of things forward. Thanks for joining the comments, Debby. Just another hummingbird note. The little critters were buzzing around my head while I was taking photos of them two nights ago.

    I moved away from where I was sitting to get a different angle on the feeder and they spotted me. So, instead of crowding the feeder, they were diving around me in great loops and swirls. What radar they must have.