BACKYARD BIRD BUFFET
When I started growing flowers, it was for me. I loved all the colors and the surprise of seeing the new blooms each day. I still love the flowers, but there are some that I continue to grow.. just for the birds.
There are people that don't appreciate my Bachelor Buttons as much as I do. The flower can look messy with their wild ways and they don't always keep upright. Regardless, I will forever have them in my garden because the finches LOVE them. After the first year of growing buttons, the finches would fly in and check on their progress... nope. No seeds yet. When the flowers finally went to seed, the finches came-dozens at at time! Now Bachelor Buttons are a stable in my gardens.
The Sunflower is another flower in my gardens that the birds love, especially the finches. My love for them wasn't immediate. I grew them because they are, to me, part of a more rustic/farm garden and I like that look. After really looking at the intricacy of the petals and the center, I'm in love with sunflowers! Not only do the birds enjoy feeding on them, but the honey bees are always gathering pollen from the seed heads.
I have several flower in my pots and garden that the hummingbirds enjoy, but I have a feeder where they can buzz in and get a drink. Hummingbirds are attracted to tubular shaped flowers and the colors yellow, orange, pink and purple, but most of all red. You can mix hummingbird food by dissolving sugar in water. A 4:1 ratio (four cups water, one cup sugar) I usually do only two cups of water at a time so the water stays fresher in the warm weather. There is no need to add red food coloring, and please don't! Food coloring is not bird friendly.
Regardless of if you grow flowers for you or the birds, enjoy each bloom for the beautiful creation that it is and all the activity each one creates in the garden.
The plant marker that lasts for years... not just a growing season!