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Friday, September 11, 2015

Teddy Bears, Hummers & Me!

by Diana McCollum

I love our garden. I say 'our' garden, but really it's my husbands gardens. His dedication to turning over the soil in the spring, planting, watering, fertilizing and weeding which gives us the beautiful different garden areas to enjoy.

I enjoy the flowers and the critters they bring in, Butterflies, frogs, lady bugs, deer, birds and humming birds.

Sitting on the back patio in the early morning, with a cup of coffee, and watching the Humming birds come in to feed is one of the most relaxing moments of the day. I can sit and watch them work for a few minutes or half an hour. It is the meditative time of the day for me. Just me and the hummers!


The Hummers have gotten so use to us sitting there next to the Black and Blue Stevia, they fly with in a foot or two of where I sit, and work the plants.

One day I was sitting in the garden, reading a book and a Hummer flew between my book and my face and hovered there. I saw his beak, very pointy, and his beady little eye up close and personal. The whirl of his wings sounded like a helicopter when he was that close to me. An amazing experience, I wouldn't have had but for our beautiful garden.

My favorite flower, I love them all, but my very favorite is the mighty Sunflower. My husband always plants a wide variety. This year my favorite is the Teddy Bear Sunflower.
August 2015 Teddy Bear

Sunflowers start out as a tiny seed. And from that comes a Gigantic stalk, sometimes as tall as 12 feet or more, with one or more buds. When those buds open the flowers are so big, and beautiful. We have ones from saucer size to dinner plate size.

We always have a mixture in our garden. There are the Teddy Bear, Regular giant Sunflowers, Brown, Red, single flower, multi-flower  and multi-colored.

The Sunflower brings in birds of all shapes and sizes, butterflies, and even the Hummers have been seen on the blossom.

The Sunflower heads are dried and saved for winter. My husband puts the heads back into the garden area to feed the birds during the winter.

Do you have a garden, and what is your favorite flower you grow?

15 comments:

Karen Duvall said...

We have a garden, but like you, it's my husband's garden and not mine. We have all kinds of flowers and plants growing out there except that it's not a cultivated landscape at all. It's actually quite wild. My husband planted my favorite flowers, Stargazer lilies, under the bathroom window. They remind me of giant orchids. Their powerfully aromatic scent always makes me smile.

That's cool about the hummingbirds. We have quite a few of them, too. We also have finches, grosebeaks, jays, sparrows, junkos, bluebirds and a few chickadees. At our house in Evergreen, Colorado, we had dozens of chickadees all year long. I remember one time sitting out on our front deck reading a book when a chickadee landed on my finger. It startled me and I jumped, and then felt sorry for scaring it away.

Collette Cameron said...

I bought my hubby a teddy bear sunflower this year. It died already!

My favorite flowers are peonies, but my yard is full of all kinds of flowers and birds. I actually have a certified wildlife sanctuary, though hubby's not crazy about the deer eating the fruit from the orchard.

Sarah Raplee said...

Watching the hummingbirds is definitely a meditative experience. I love spending time bird watching when we vsvit you! Your garden is always glorious!

Lynn Lovegreen said...

Wow, Diana. That close encounter with a hummer is awesome!

Barbara Rae Robinson said...

We feed hummers outside our dining room window. Most of them stay on the feeder when I look out the window at them. Some remain in the area through the winter. My favorite flower is roses. But, alas, the deer who inhabit our woods also like roses. To eat. Each year the deer get tamer and tamer. A yearling doe has been doing the most damage this year. I was watching the buds on the two roses below my office window. Three days ago, all but one were gone. As well as a lot of the leaves. Sigh. There are plenty of other things for them to eat.

Z. Minor said...

My favorite flower is the Sunflower. In Kansas you can find acres of them. I have tried to grow them but haven't had much luck. I plant wild flower seeds in my garden and love bring them into the house.
Great article Diana. Thanks.

Kathy Coatney said...

Diana I love sunflowers and hummers. They flock to our redwood trees and I love to watch them. I have a garden but don't get time to work in it and didn't have much desire this year as it's been so hot!

Marie Harte said...

Wow, Diana. Talk about a beautiful garden. Having been the recipient of some of your tomatoes, I'd lean toward a vegetable vs. flower garden. :) *grin* But I do love flowers. Red geraniums always make me think of summer, with that burst of vibrant color. And I'm a traditionalist in that I'm a sucker for roses, the fragrant ones. My garden is nowhere near yours. Right now I have a lot of overgrown greenery, but this has been a busy year. I promised myself I'd do better next summer with color.

Great post! 0012

Anna Brentwood said...

I am blessed to be surrounded by forest and tress that are very calming and your grade sounds lovely- thanks for sharing.

Diana McCollum said...

Hi, Karen, we have lots of chickadees and finches, Jays etc. too! My favorite is the Humming birds! At Wilco yesterday I saw they sell Humming bird nesting material! How coo is that?

Collette- Sorry about your Teddy Bear dying. It is such a beautiful flower. Some of ours came in a mixed seed packet. We didn't know what we had till they grew! I understand about the wild habitat. We have birds, lots of quail, deer and Eagles, hawks.

Diana McCollum said...

Thanks for stopping by, Sarah and Lynn! I'm glad you like our garden, Sarah as you've been the caretaker when we've been gone this summer. So part of the credit for a glorious garden definitely goes to you!

Hi, Barbara, I had Roses in California. We lived in the mountains and those deer loved my roses. The first time I saw one of the deer eating the roses, her ribs showed. So we bought deer feed and put it out for her. I know we aren't suppose to do that, but there wasn't much feed that year and she was so skinny. She did like the feed better than the roses after she tried it.


Diana McCollum said...

Hi Louise! I knew you'd like the Sunflower best! Miss you! Your flowers were beautiful when we visited. Louise is Z, Minor.

Hi, Kathy, I know what you mean about the heat! That's why our garden is more my husband's garden this year. I can't take the heat.

Hey, Marie, You have a great yard! easy care, water fountain and a fire pit! I love the smell of roses. They seem to grow well here in Bend. Can't talk my husband into growing any?:((

Judith Ashley said...

Favorite flowers? Geraniums, fuchsias, columbine, ferns, clematis and more recently Armistead and Blue and Black Salvia. I have other flowers that I like but these are must haves in the garden - preferably where I can see them from my office window next to the computer.

Pippa Jay said...

I envy your garden and your Hummers! I was lucky enough to spot a hummingbird moth in a garden recently, which is about as close as I can get. My favourite flower is the stargazer lily, but this year I bought tree lilies for my birthday, and so far they are surviving out in my garden (I'm not very green-fingered).

Kristin Gonzalez said...

My backyard in NorthDakota was cut into a steep hill and had a beautiful rock retaining wall that I had planted with all manner of plants. When standing in the backyard or sitting on the patio, the fence surrounding the yard went from 3 feet to about 20 feet above our heads. along the fence, I planted sunflowers and hollyhocks. They were tall and gorgeous towering above the fence. I absolutely loved the contrast of the bright flower heads against that bright cobalt colored summer sky!

The first year all the flowers looked like the flowers on the seed package. I cut down the dead plants and, like your husband, left the seed heads for the birds. The next summer I was witness to the amazing Mendelian experiment Mother Nature had conducted the previous summer. As usual, I planted more seeds out of purchased packages, but many volunteers also sprouted! To my amazement, in July and August, I had Teddy Bear Sunflowers that were not just completely yellow, but all variations and combinations from the various hybrids from the previous year. My favorite was an enormous Teddy Bear that was limey green in the middle with maroon on the outside. Every year from then on, I was excited to see what Mother Nature had in store for me!