Hummingbirds love the nectar from turtlehead

Judith Adam

Pink turtlehead, sometimes called twisted shell flower, are showy plants that provide nectar loved by hummingbirds. They prefer nectar over sugar water.

'Golden Jubilee' anise hyssop (Photo by Brendan Zwelling)

Anise hyssop for busy bees

Judith Adam

This has been a good summer for anise hyssop, a generous producer of potent nectar for honey bees, butterflies.

Purple Wave petunia. Photo by Brendan Adam-Zwelling

Scented petunias

Judith Adam

I want to entice hummingbirds to stay longer in the garden, so I’m interested in knowing more about scented petunias. I’ve grown Madness Plum Crazy petunia.

A monarch enjoying the nectar of a butterfly bush. (Photo by Brendan Zwelling)

Hummers and monarchs

Garden Making

Visits from hummers and monarchs mark the end of summer, but not the end of the gardening season. The hummer stops here in late spring on his way north, and again on his way back south. I also saw a couple of monarch butterflies indulging themselves on a dwarf butterfly bush.

Redbud branches can be forced to bloom early indoors. (Photo from WikiMedia Commons)

Forcing spring branches

Judith Adam

When forcing spring branches, use the younger branches of woody plants which usually carry the most flower buds, and appear more round and puffy than the slimmer leaf buds. When forcing spring branches, cut a cross with a sharp knife or secateurs into the bottom inch of each stem to encourage water uptake.