Hummingbird Party Porch

We loved watching the ruby-throated hummingbirds from our tiny balcony when we lived in Maryland, but in the past 3 summers in Boston we've only had a few sightings each season. This year I added hanging baskets, bright ribbons, and red beebalm (monarda didyma) and the hummingbirds finally started showing up.

Dylan and I have had so much fun watching the hummingbirds that we started adding more flowers and feeders. Making nectar is very easy and it should be changed often to keep it fresh.

Hummingbird Feeder Nectar:

1 part white sugar
4 parts warm water
Stir to dissolve, let cool before serving

I've been naming the hummingbirds when I can identify distinct features. Alice, Darlene, and Blanche are viciously territorial and we have occasional visits from males, all named "Bubba". A downy woodpecker has also started showing up to drink from the feeder. A few hummingbirds have been investigating the red cherry tomatoes that are trellised up the side of the porch. It looks pretty crazy but I love it.

below: a view of the porch from the ground

Then we read that hummingbirds sometimes like splashing in fresh water, so we built a little fountain. We haven't seen any bathing yet but the gentle bubbling helps screen out the traffic noise from the street.

Hummingbirds like to feed from plants with multiple tubular flowers in bright colors. Red beebalm is still the preferred flower, but our birds have shown an interest in a few of the others I bought for them.

Lantana (below) is an annual here and has flourished in a neglected pot, even in our dry weather

I just happened to be at the nursery to get river stones and a pot for the hummingbird fountain and couldn't restrain myself in the clearance section. I got this lovely native honeysuckle "peaches & cream" (above) for 30% off and various agastaches (below) for 50% off because they were kind of bloomed out. I just trimmed them back and am now getting a fresh set of blooms.

The red nicotiana (below), million bells, and the dwarf pink bee balms were a bust but at least they look pretty. Our hummingbirds would rather drink nectar from cucumber and tomato flowers.