December 16, 2018

Finding My Green Thumb I Beginning Vegetable Gardening

I met Melanie Bremner at an Internet Marketing event in Atlanta Georgia a few years ago.  She comes from a family of lady marketers who each run their own businesses from home and I had the pleasure of meeting 3 generations of them.  Since that time, Melanie and I have gotten to know each other better by following each other on Facebook.  I’ve enjoyed seeing what she’s up to with her business and for that matter I’ve always enjoy her personal posts as well.  That being said, my ears really perked up when she started talking about beginning vegetable gardening and Melanie graciously accepted my request to provide a guest post for my gardening friends who perhaps feel the same way she did in feeling like she just didn’t have a green thumb!

Thank you @Melanie for taking the time to share with my readers. 🙂

Leigha

 

 

MB Aug Garden

When I first decided that I would try my hand again at growing a vegetable garden, I didn’t have much faith in my abilities.  My beginning vegetable gardens had both been flops and I had pretty much determined that I didn’t have a green thumb in any sense. But, my family loves tomatoes and green peppers and knowing how these vegetables can become quite expensive, I set out to conquer this gardening challenge and reap some benefits.

So, what did I do?

  • I researched the proper time to grow these vegetables
  • How far apart to place the plants
  • Where the best location was where they would get just the right amount of sun and shade
  • The best soils and manure to use to aid them in their growth
  • And how often they should be watered

My darling hubby dug up the dirt in the old flower bed in front of our house and then we spent $60 on two different soils, some sheep manure, and some mulch. This combination of ingredients worked so well that we only had to pull out two or three weeds the whole time and sometimes when I forgot to water them, the mulch did an excellent job of retaining some of the moisture so the plants did not suffer any.

It has now been roughly two months or so since our plants have grown and the numbers are climbing. At last count we had 100 vine tomatoes, 6 green peppers and 10 little cherry tomatoes (these were planted weeks after the other ones so are slow to come to fruition).

The green pepper plants I believe could have done much better if they had not been placed in between two of our tomato plants since they ended up being dwarfed and cut off from the sun. But once again, this is a lesson learned.

Next year, I would like to try growing some cucumbers and green beans. It would be nice even if we could get some fruit out of the deal too. I have learned this year through my experience that if you take the time to research, buy what you need, nurture your crop, and have faith; you never know what can be accomplished even if you think you don’t have a green thumb. I thoroughly enjoyed teaching my children about nature and how things grow as well and I believe they too now have a greater appreciation for where food comes from.

Happy kids

root veggies source-123rf

About the Author

Melanie Bremner

Melanie Bremner

Melanie Bremner is a work at home mom of four who enjoys helping other stay at home folks find ways to make money from home, save more money and tackle every day parenting issues one step at a time. She invites you to stop on over at her blog and help yourself to a free report! http://momsassistingmoms.net

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Patina on Copper Explained

Patina on Statue of Liberty

Patina on Statue of Liberty

Since I re-opened my store last spring, I’ve received several questons from customers who are interested in my copper and brass garden decorative accent pieces about patina.  Particularly about some of the larger pieces like this garden weathervane and this large piece of  kinetic art.

Quite honestly, I didn’t know much about it.  I just took it for granted that it was a natural phenomena and that when I’m choosing my own copper garden accents I always like to try to picture them with the patina they will eventually develop over time.

The most famous patina, at least for Americans,  has to be the patina on the Statue of Liberty but there are many other statues across the country and throughout the world that haved patinaed beautifully over time.  The statue of Christoper Columbus in Barcelona, Spain is another famous artwork.

After doing a little research and some nosing around on various webpages,  I found the information I needed but most of it was just TMI (too much information).

Christopher Columbus Statue Barcelona Spain.123rf

Christopher Columbus Statue Barcelona Spain.

The cemical compounds get a little confusing and frankly, I was never very good at science, most of the info was over my head.  The simplist description of what it is and why it forms came from Wikipedia.

Here is the entry from the Wikipedia page:

Patina (/ˈpætɨnə/ or /pəˈtnə/) is a tarnish that forms on the surface of copperbronze and similar metals (produced by oxidation or other chemical processes); stone; a sheen on wooden furniture produced by age, wear, and polishing; or any such acquired change of a surface through age and exposure. Patinas can provide a protective layer to materials that would otherwise be damaged by corrosion or weathering. They may also be aesthetically appealing.

On metal, patina is a coating of various chemical compounds such as oxidescarbonatessulfides, or sulfates formed on the surface during exposure to atmospheric elements (oxygenrainacid raincarbon dioxidesulfur-bearing compounds). Patina also refers to accumulated changes in surface texture and colour that result from normal use of an object such as a coin or a piece of furniture over time.

That is pretty much everything you need to know however you can see the entire entry here if you wish to read all of the details.  They list many other resources as well.

You should expect all of your copper, brass, and other metal garden accents to patina.  In the event that you wish to avoid this, be sure to give your pieces several coats of a good clear poly before exposing them to the elements.  Personally, I prefer the beauty of a natual patina but as I always say, each to their own when it comes to personal tastes both in and out of the garden.

Best,

Leigha

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Oriole Bird Feeder Use | Attracting & Feeding Birds

Depending on where you live in the U.S. you can expect the orioles to return from mid-April in the south to nearing  the end of May in the North but it’s important to remember that with Oriole’s, timing is everything!

Be sure to have your oriole bird feeder hung in easy view and filled with nectar, oranges, and jelly hung outside a couple of weeks before they are due to arrive.

Orioles are stunning birds and are much anticipated by bird lovers.  Like other species in the bird family, the males are brighter but in Orioles, the females are gorgeous as well.

There are nine species of orioles in the U.S. however only 5 or common enough that you will will probably see them, the others, well you’ll have to go looking for them.

Orioles spend their winters in Mexico and Central and South America, where they can find a steady source of insects, fruit and nectar. Then they migrate north to nest in early spring.

And what a nest they make!  Many orioles find tall deciduous trees, where they carefully weave together plant fiber and sometimes yarn or string if they can find it, to make their nests.  Some orioles will take up to 12 days to construct their pendulous sac-shaped nests which they build on the ends of thin branches.  This placement  keeps the eggs and babies relatively safe from climbing predators and other nest robbers.

Remember this, your chance to see these beautiful orange birds doesn’t last long, because most start to migrate south in August. It’s a thrill to see these beautiful birds for most bird lovers and your chances of seeing them will be lengthened by offering an abundance of food.  These birds arrive hungry and will move on quickly if no food is available.  Whether you spot them for just a day or are lucky enough to have them visit your yard most of the summer, they are one of spring’s greatest bird treasures.

Tips for Attracting Orioles

  • Begin 2 weeks earlier than you expect Orioles to arrive in your area. Your best chance of attracting orioles is when they first arrive in early spring.
  • Use the same nectar recipe for orioles as you do for hummingbirds-four parts boiled water to one part sugar. Keep nectar fresh, change every 2-3 days, and don’t use food coloring.
  • These birds are attracted to the color orange, so they will love this specifically designed feeder for orioles.
  • Make sure your feeder has large enough perches and drinking ports. It’s not unusual for orioles to try hummingbird feeders, but their bills are often too big. Orioles love the color and taste of oranges. Offer orange halves on a branch or feeder. Orioles will also eat grape jelly. Serve the jelly in an open dish or cup, and keep it fresh.
  • When placing the oriole feeder in your yard, think like a bird. Instead of hiding the feeder under an awning or tree, put it out in the open so the birds can see it while flying overhead. If you have a large yard offer more than one feeder.
  • Hang your feeder near a birdbath. If your bath has a mister or dripper, even better. Orioles love the sight and sound of moving water!
  • Put out yarn and string. Hang small pieces from tree branches.  Orioles and other backyard songbirds will use it for their nests.
  • If you don’t attract orioles in your first year, keep at it. It often takes several seasons to find a following.

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Kinetic Art Sculpture | Wind Spinners

Kinetic Art, is described by Wikipedia, is art from any medium that contains movement perceivable by the viewer or depends on motion for its effect.   Kinetic art is a term that today most often refers to three-dimensional sculptures and figures such as mobiles and stakes that move naturally with the moving  parts being generally powered by wind.  Most are made of metal and copper is popular due to the beauty of the natural patina it develops over time.

Watching a kinetic wind sculpture can be quite mesmerizing and very relaxing.  Some people state they are conductive for use during meditation.

Kinetic Spinners, as they are sometimes called, are designed to rotate silently in even the slightest of a gentle breeze.

Each design is a work of art and creates a unique enchanting motion when turning. When you combine several in your garden they interact in mesmerizing ways.

Kinetic wind sculptures can capture the imagination as they gracefully spin and twirl in the breeze as though perhaps taking on a life of its own.

The designs of the spinning art sculptures themselves can be as simple and beautiful as seen in the first video below or be masterful feats of engineering genius such as the examples from a wonderful display that can be seen in the second video at Orcas Island in Washington State.

 

 

If you are looking for a something as interesting as it is delightful to add to your landscape, why not add a kinetic wind sculpture to your yard or even several smaller designs to your garden.  No matter what design you choose, you’ll find that they are wonderful conversation starters!

I hope you’ll love them too!

Leigha sig

 

 

P.S.  Get on my VIP customer list to find out when these works of art are on sale by completing the form on the left.

 

 

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Anti Squirrel Bird Feeder | As Seen on Shark Tank

We are so very excited to announce that our store will be carrying the Squirrel Boss as Seen on ABC’s Shark Tank Friday night!

If the squirrels are taking over your bird feeder and eating all the seed before the birds can get to it and you’ve tried everything you can think of and still can’t figure out how to keep squirrels out of bird feeders? The Squirrel Boss is a 100% Super Squirrel proof bird feeder.

Now you can be THE BOSS. The Squirrel Boss is better than squirrel repellent and no baffle necessary.

With just the press of a remote control button a signal is sent to the solar powered top of the bird feeder and the offending squirrels will get a harmless static shock correction that will teach them to stay away from your bird feeder so the birds can feed and you can save money on feed.

See the video on the order page for how it works.

Squirrel Boss Testimonials

AntiSquirrelBirdFeeder

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Send a Card To A Friend Day – 3 Reasons To Celebrate It

February 7th is “Send  a Card to a Friend Day”.  Now if that sounds to you like one of those frivolous holidays, it’s not and here’s why it’s important.

Send a friend a cardThink about what you felt like last time you went to your mailbox and found that someone had sent you a card.

I’m talking about that feeling you got when you opened your mailbox, swooped out the pile of envelopes and realized that someone had sent you a greeting card?

Didn’t that feel wonderful?  If it wasn’t your birthday or Christmas or some other time that you were expecting a card, it was even more of a surprise and might have even intensified that warm fuzzy feeling it gives all of us when we know that someone was thinking about us and took the trouble to actually act on  it.  When was the last time?  Do you remember it?  Wouldn’t you like to give someone you care about that feeling too?  I know you would.

Now if you can’t think of a reason to send a card to someone, let me help you with that.send a friend a greeting card

Reason #1 to send someone a greeting card.

You are thinking of them.  This is called a prompting.  You are thinking about them and you have an opportunity right now to let them know that.

Reason #2 to send someone a greeting card.

You want to show Gratitude to them for their support or something they have done for you.  Don’t put this off.  All of us need to feel appreciated and too few of us receive the appreciation we deserve.

Reason #3 to send someone a greeting card.

welcome cardTo welcome someone.  Whether it’s to welcome a new member to a club you belong to or to a new neighbor who just bought a house in the neighborhood.  A special welcome from you will make them feel especially welcome.

There’s an easy way to do this.

I’ve got something to share with you.  It’s about a service that I’ve been using for years and one I think you might enjoy as well.  It’s called Send Out Cards.  With Send Out Cards, you completely avoid the hassle of sending a greeting card.  You don’t have to drive to the store, select a card, look for the address, address the envelope if you can find it after all that stress looking for the address that you KNOW you saved somewhere, find or buy a postage stamp, and mail it.  They take care of all that for you.

With Send Out Cards, I can go online, create a card with my personal photos or choose one of over 15,000 premade cards, and click send.  They print it, stuff it in an envelope, address it, put a real postage stamp on it, and mail it for me.  All for under $1.00!!  I love the service so much that I bought a wholesale account so I could use it for my business too.

Send a free card.

I’ll tell you what, I can show you much better than I can tell you.  Why don’t we do this:  I’ll arrange for a gift account for you and you can go try the service for free.  I’ll give you two cards to send including the postage.  My treat!

Then, if you like the service, you can continue using it.  For most people, the cost is under $10.00 a month.  That is a small price to pay to keep you from procrastinating the next time you think of reaching out to someone.  It takes away all of the hassle and even better organizes all your contacts so that you’ll never miss an important day again.

If you want to remember someone with a gift, you’ll also be offered the opportunity to select from a wide variety of gifts and gift cards.  There is something for everyone.

Here’s all you have to do to take me up on my offer.

  1. Go over to my page at Send Out Cards by clicking here.
  2. Choose option 1, Send A Card
  3. Click Yes, when asked if you would like a walk-through and Send Out Cards founder and President, Kody Bateman, will walk you though how simple it is to use the service.

Let me know if I can help you get started or if you’d like to have your own Send Out Cards account.

Wishing you a fabulous day!

Leigha sig

 

 

P.S.  If you miss Send a Card to a Friend Day, don’t let that stop you from sending someone a card and making their day.  Go ahead, stop procrastinating, there won’t be a better time than now.

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Name the Sausage Apple Rice Recipe

Natasha's Apple Sausage Rice recipe

Natasha’s Apple Sausage Rice recipe

My daughter Natasha came up with this recipe and it’s just delicious!

It’s a wonderfully sweet and spicy dish that’s easy and quick to make on a night you don’t feel much like cooking.  It especially makes a wonderful meal on any winter evening when your bones just need warming up.  We serve it with a simple side salad and if you’ve got it, a glass of nice wine goes well with it also.

We don’t have a name for it but we’ve been trying to come up with something to call it.

My daughter Natasha

My daughter Natasha

Maybe you have an idea for a name for it.  Suggestions are encouraged and most certainly welcome.  In fact, if you leave your idea for the recipe name in the comments below and we choose yours, you’ll win our favorite slow cooker recipe cookbook!

Go ahead.  Try the recipe and then let us know what you think we should name it.

Here’s what you need:

1 lb smoked turkey sausage, cubed

2 firm apples suitable for cooking, cubed

3 cups brown rice (uncooked)

3 cups chicken broth

1/4 cup apple juice or water

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1 bag frozen squash, partially thawed

salt & pepper to taste

 

In a large skillet over low/med heat, saute the cubed sausage, cubed apple,and the the cranberries until the apple is tender.  10-15 minutes should be good.  Add the apple juice or water to the pan as needed to keep the apple from drying out.

While the sausage and apples are cooking, prepare the brown rice according to the package directions except substitute the chicken broth for the water.  Depending on how many you are cooking for, use equal parts of the rice and chicken broth.  3 cups of rice and chicken stock makes 4 large servings as pictured here.

When the rice is done, add the partially thawed bag of frozen squash to the rice, cover, and continue on low heat until the squash is tender.

Mix the sausage mixture to the rice mixture and fluff with a fork to mix.

Enjoy and be sure to let us know how you liked it!

Happy Eating,

Leigha sig

 

 

P.S.  Don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter and as a subscriber you’ll be on top of all the best tips, recipes, finds,buys and news delivered directly to our subscribers only list.  Simply complete the form in the top right-hand corner of this page.

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Dangers of Shower Curtains & Bath Safety Mats

It’s the start of a new year and many of us have made resolutions we may or may not have already given up on.  I gave up on making resolutions a long time ago but I do still try to make positive changes to my life on a regulartoxin rubber duck basis.  New information frequently makes me change something I’m doing or thinking.

Which brings me to today’s topic…

Toxins!  Specifically shower curtains and bath safety mats made with PVC.

In the Home and Garden section of Sunday’s edition of the Post & Courier, yes I still get the newspaper, I found an article that gave me some concern. Now I’m not a germaphobe or anything like that.  I don’t freak out upon reading something that scares me but I am willing to make changes when it makes sense to do so.

I do enjoy keeping up with things and pretty much everything in my home has a place.  I’m a bit of a neat freak but by no stretch of the imagination am I an ecophile but I do feel responsible for doing my part.  I try to be environmentally conscious and I’m always baffled as to why I’m the only one on my street who sets out recycling every Wednesday night and so on.

That being said, the previously mentioned article made me want to run screaming and tear down my shower curtain!

Did you know that Polyvinyl chloride, more commonly known as PVC is suspected of causing developmental delays, liver damage, and respiratory problems?  Do you realize that this same PVC is used in plastic shower curtains and bath safety mats as well as many other plastics in your home?  I didn’t!  I knew about the piping of course but honestly, I never gave any of it much thought.

Evidently, I need to replace my vinyl shower curtain liner with one labeled PVC-Free.  They are made with a safer plastic known as EVA.  The second option of course is to use a cotton or polyester liner. Now I don’t know whether my shower curtain has pvc in it.  I may not.  I don’t know because there is no way to tell once you’ve thrown the packaging away.  I’ll pay more attention in the future.

In any event, I’m doing a lot of updates around my house right now and now is as good a time as any to get a fresh shower curtain liner and bath mat.

I browsed around the web, checked out the  Target website and finally decided on a extra long shower curtain liner at Amazon.   Although, I’m big on reading reviews and there is only one review for this product, it was given a 5 star rating by the reviewer.  She really likes it and says she would buy again in the future.  It looks like what I need anyway.  Soft Sensations Clear PVC-free Extra Long Shower Curtain Liner.  It’s mildew resistant and I always buy the extra long shower curtains because I make a mess otherwise.  This one is great because along with all that, it’s pvc free.

Ikea Kids Patrull Bathtub Mat Crocodile GreenI looked over the bathmats and didn’t see anything I was crazy about until I saw the Ikea Kids Patrull Bathtub Mat Crocodile Green  I just couldn’t resist how much fun it would be to have it!  I’m always musing about what people think when they look behind my shower curtain anyway.  This will sure surprise them.  You know who you are!  🙂

One last thing, while we are on the topic of toxins in the bathroom, if you are like me and have a thyroid problem, you might want to swap out your soap.  According to the article, Triclosan is the main ingredient found in many antibacterial hand soaps, gels and body washes.  There is evidence that the ingredient interferes with thyroid function and, if that’s not enough or you don’t have a thyroid problem, Triclosan is also linked to creating “superbugs” that are resistant to antibiotics.

So what’s the alternative and possibly more healthy way to suds up?  It turns out to be a very simple solution actually.  According to the FDA, “there is no evidence that Triclosan in antibacterial soaps and body washes provides any benefit over washing with regular soap and water.”  So there you go.  Sometimes the old stuff IS still the best stuff!

Well, that’s it for today.  I feel better about my own bathroom and about letting you know about the secret dangers lurking in your own bathroom.  Shouldn’t the packaging have to give a warning about this or am I just being over sensitive?

Happy Showering,

Leigha sig

 

 

P.S.  Hey ya’ll, don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter.  There are some big changes taking place here at GardenDecorativeItems.com and my newsletter subscribers are always the first to know about happenings around here.  You’ll get my best tips, excerpts from my posts, home and garden projects, and advance notice about contests on the site.  Watch for the February edition for some big news!

P.S.S.  Be sure to share this info with anyone who has children.  This knowledge might save some family a lot of heartache.

 

 

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January Tasks for Southern Garden Enthusiasts

JanuaryHappy New Year southern gardening enthusiasts!  It’s January 2013!

I’m excited to get this year started as it just feels like it’s going to be a great year!

I know it’s cold in some parts of the county but here in the Charleston, SC we’ve had the most gorgeous weather I can remember in January.

So…  just because it’s January doesn’t mean that there aren’t plenty of things to do for gardening enthusiasts in the south!  Winter in the south is almost always a sort of on again, off again, kind of thing.  At least it is here in Charleston where I live.

In most parts of the south, there are always at least a few sunny days in January that are good for getting outdoors and if you are like most southern gardeners you love spending those days doing a little work around the garden and around the yard in general.

January Tasks:

Fill your feeders.

suet feeder

Fill your feeders with high energy foods for your feathered friends.  Providing Suet and high quality seed in the winter will have the birds flocking to your yard!  My favorite is my  Songbird Essentials Squirrel Resistant Suet Palace pictured in the tree.  I love all the Songbird Essentials products.  Most of them are guaranteed for life!

As for the suet to fill the feeder with, while it’s true that there are many commercial varieties of suet are available on the market, I’ve got an easy recipe for making your own suet here.

Flowers

In the lower coastal and tropical south there are plenty of choices for flowers that you can plant now in areas that you can provide full sun.  A couple of my favorites are sweet peas and petunias but there are many more that will withstand the cooler weather temps if given enough sun.  In the tropical south, even impatiens, marigolds, and geraniums can generally be planted.

Camellias

Trees & Shrubs

My favorite winter flower actually comes from a shrub.  Camellias are affectionately known as “the roses of winter” and are the Alabama state flower.  They make fragrant and long lasting little arrangements for putting around  your home.  I put the flowers in short vases and put them everywhere.  The fragrance is heavenly!  As long as the ground isn’t frozen, January is the perfect time to plant these shrubs.  You can also get a head start in colder areas by planing them in containers and moving them to the ground when it thaws in the spring.  The same is true for Winter Honeysuckle.  Plant these shrubs near entryways and windows you like to open for fullest enjoyment.

As a general rule of thumb, any tree that can overwinter in your part of the south can also be planted at this time providing the ground isn’t frozen.

Order seeds & planting supplies now

You can start some leafy vegetables indoors as soon as you get your seeds!  Getting the jump on your seed order means you can get a jump on starting your seeds indoors, saving money, and enjoying your garden earlier.  Go ahead, order your seeds and any other supplies that you know you’ll need with this January coupon worth 15% off your order of $60 or more with code GARDEN1560 through 2/1 at Burpee.com!

Lawn & Soil

Now is the time to spread annual rye-grass if you want to keep a green lawn all winter long.  Looking out on a green lawn always makes the world seem a little brighter in a dreary month of the year.

Get your soil tested to see if it needs Lyme.  Visit your local Extension office for info on how to do this by mail.  Note: Never add Lime without testing soil first!

You can also stay on top of your soil and prepare for your spring vegetable garden by tilling and adding some organic matter to your soil to keep it loose and hold in moisture.  Do a little of this on dry days consistently over the winter months and your spring vegetable garden will be ready for planting those plants you started indoors.

Start a Journal

On days when it is too cold to get outside, that’s a great time to begin a garden journal.  A journal with information about the next 12 months will be invaluable in making  future gardening plans going forward.  There’s no better time than January to get this going!  Make notes about all your observations and especially those regarding weather conditions, what and when and how you planted, when things bloomed, what worked, what didn’t, and what gave you the most enjoyment.

Canning

By late spring you’ll be glad that you took the time now to do a little planning before time to start your canning.  Now is the time to take inventory of your canning supplies, purchase, replace or upgrade equipment, plan what you’ll can this year and gather new recipes organized by the quantities and qualities of what’s fresh and available month by month.  I use a beautiful canning book I found in a roadside market on a trip back from Hilton Head Island.  It’s titled “Putting up, A Year-Round Guide to Canning in the Southern tradition” by Stephen Palmer Dowdney.  It’s perfect for planning because it’s organized by eacj month with all the recipes for putting up what’s currently in season and available in abundance. I even got a signed copy!  It’s also available on Amazon if you are interested Putting Up: A Year-Round Guide to Canning in the Southern Tradition

Well, I’ll bet there is more to be done than I’ve mentioned but these are the tasks I’ve got on my mind this month and what I’ve been focusing on.

Wishing you a happy new year and a great month of gardening in January.

Leigha sig

 

 

P.S.  Don’t forget to subscribe to my gardening tips newsletter and get my best tips, fun projects, and great offers I find around the web.

 

 

 

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Hummingbirds | Nesting, Food & Facts | Free Nectar Recipe!

ruby-throated-hummingbird-hummingbirdsHere you will find everything a hummingbird lover would enjoy.  Whether you want to attract the Ruby hummingbird, also known as the ruby throated hummingbird or one of the other 16 kinds of hummingbirds found in the United States, you can attract Hummingbirds to your yard!

In the store you’ll find Hummingbird feeders, hummingbird food; called hummingbird nectar, information on the migration of the hummingbird, hummingbird nesting materials, and hummingbird gifts for the hummingbird lover such as hummingbird art, planters, stained glass, spinners and more all in the hummingbird motif whether for use as garden decorative items or home decor.

In the United States, you can find over 16 kinds of Hummingbirds.  For people east of the Rockies, the most prevalent by far is the Roby-Throated Hummingbird.  In fact, the Ruby-Throated Hummingbird is the most widely distributed of the world’s 338 species of Hummingbirds, all of which occur ONLY in the Western Hemisphere.

The Ruby-Throated Hummingbird is often found between woodland and meadow.  However, it has adapted well to human development but only if there is shelter, space and food.  Thus, it is frequently seen in suburban backyards with mature trees and shrubs, in wooded parks, and around farmsteads.

The Keys to Attracting Hummingbirds are to provide food, Help for nesting, and misters (water) for them to fly through. Hummingbirds are extremely loyal to feeding sites.  A hummingbird that feeds in your yard one year will return to that feeder the next.  If you aren’t attracting as many hummers as you want, read on…

As the male Ruby-Throated Hummingbird is so territorial, on key is to offer losts of feeders.  We have several different feeders available for every garden decor.  No matter what kind of feeders you decide to use, remember two golden rules: Keep the feeder clean and the nectar fresh.  Fermented nectar can support the growth of deadly molds.  If a hummingbird gets a taste of fermented nectar from your feeder, it will look elsewhere for a drink and remain suspicious of the offending feeder for a long time.  Fermented nectar to hummingbirds is like drinking alcohol to humans.  Hummingbirds understand that they need a clear head for their acrobatic flying.

  • Plant open throated red flowers.
  • Tie a big red bow to trees and branches in your yard near feeders.  Hummingbirds have keen vision and are attracted to red.
  • Provide Nesting material.
  • Keep Feeders Clean!  We recommend the Brush kits in the hummingbird feeder section below.
  • Offer lots of feeders protected from ants.  Keep ants away from your feeders by using “Nectar Guard Tips” or hang a “Nectar Protector Ant Moat” above your feeder and fill it with water. (Ants can’t swim)  Recommended Feeders are listed below in the shop.
  • Keep Bees and wasps away from your feeders by using a flat top feeder where the nectar is not at the feeding port.  Hummers can reach but the bees can not.

Nesting

hummingbird nestinghummingbirdA hummingbird nest is not much bigger than a quarter, and often it contains just 2-3 eggs no bigger than small peas.  it’s typically hard to see, as it blends in well to the tree branch it’s attached to, and is made of fine animal or plant down and moss or lichens.

Hummingbirds have been proven to really take to a product called “Hummer Helper Nesting Material“, which provides a natural replacement for some hard to find materials.  This item is sold in a convenient holder in the garden shop section of the store or you can find it by clicking the link above.

Water

Hummingbirds, like many birds, need and are attracted to water.  One of the best ways to attract hummingbirds is with a “mister” that emits a fine spray.

Hummingbird Facts

  • Hummingbirds beat their wings about 78 times per second.  During a display dive, their wings can beat up to 200 times per second.
  • Hummingbirds take about 250 breaths per minute
  • Hummingbirds like all other birds, have no sense of smell.
  • They have about 1,500 feathers.
  • Average Length: 3 1/2 inches
  • Average weight: 1/8 oz
  • They consume half of their body weight in food every day.  That would be like an average child eating about 40-50 pounds of food a day!
  • During migration, they must fly 500 miles nonstop over the Gulf of Mexico to reach their wintering grounds in Mexico and Central America.  To make the trip, they must eat enough so they weigh 1 1/2 times their usual weight.
  • They can fly at speeds of 60 miles per hour and can fly forwards, backwards, up, down, sideways, and even upside down briefly, but they can’t walk.  Avg speed is 30 miles per hour.
  • The average life span is 3-5 years.  Maximum 12 years.
  • Diet: Nectar and small insects such as gnats, ants, and flies.

More information can be found in the books & DVD’s available in our shop.

Recipe for Homemade Hummingbird Nectar

  • One part ordinary white cane sugar to four parts water.
  • Boiling the water for several minutes before measuring can retard spoilage in the feeder by a day or two; if you measure first, some will boil away and mess up the proportions.  Stir in the sugar while the water is still hot.  let cool before filling the feeder.
  • Store unused nectar in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
  • This mixture approximates the average sucrose content (about 21%) of the flowers favored by North American Hummingbirds.

Our hope is that you will find this information helpful in your ability to attract these wonderful little birds.  Hummingbirds will bring you many hours of pure enjoyment!

If you want to attract hummingbirds to your yard and start enjoying more of these tiny birds, I’ve put together a kit of everything you need to start enjoying hummingbirds from early spring until migrating starts in fall.  Get it here.


 

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Garden Decorative Items & The Empty Nest
Summerville, SC 29485 | 843-647-0489

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