Last year we had planned on putting in a stone patio in our front yard, next to the woodland garden and a few steps from the house. We changed our mind at the last minute and decided to put in a garden instead, which we named the patio garden.
It was the best choice we could have made.
We planted a variety of flowers: Shasta daisies, Russian sage, salvia (blue spires), dianthus, two types of monarda (aka bergamot or bee balm), anemones, Karl Foerster grass, blue fescue grass, lavender, knautia, coneflowers, autumn sage, and sea thrift.
The one type of monarda has grown to heights we hadn’t imagined – filling up the bed and stretching to 5 ft tall. The other monarda is a short one, only a foot or so tall. The Shasta daisies are about 3ft tall, and the Japanese maple we’d planted in the middle of the bed is dwarfed by the monarda and daisies.
The best part of the garden, however, besides enjoying the beautiful flowers from our front porch, is the hummingbirds it attracts.
We have at least two hummingbirds who come many times a day to sip from the monarda, which have bright red flowers atop long stems, and also from the autumn sage, which is a bushy plant with small, brightly coloured flowers. They hover and stick their beaks into the plants, then rush away chasing each other through the flower garden and into the cedar tree and hemlock nearby. They have a distinctive chirp and sound like a tiny plane taking off when they race each other into the trees.
They have also started to explore the fuchsias in the hanging baskets on our porch, another favourite plant for them. There have been many times when a hummingbird hovers right in front of our face before zooming off to drink more nectar or to play/fight with the other hummingbird. We can watch them not only from the porch but also from the dining room, which gives us extra entertainment during meal times.
I am proud that we’ve created a garden that sustains hummingbirds naturally and that we don’t provide sugar syrup for them from a feeder. They are doing a good job of uplifting my spirits and providing endless entertainment from the porch. It’s like our very own, real-time, hummingbird-cam.
Note all photos in this post are from our garden last week by Dave Lewis.