In addition to designing, planting, and other garden activities, simply looking at a garden is an enjoyment. If you can recall the history of a particular plant, how it has grown and changed, that can add to the enjoyment. The photo above was taken a few weeks ago. Sadly, my last hummingbird sighting was many days earlier. The Ipomoea sloteri (cardinal climber) in the distance was at its peak right before a couple of light frosts put an end to all its flowers. The sound of traffic can still be heard while nestled in this hammock but moments like these remain a mini-paradise to me. Having been born and raised in a very urban Bronx home without a yard helps me appreciate and cherish moments like this.
Here are a few more photos I took before the frost came. The Canna lilies (Canna spp.) and Tithonia rotundifolia (Mexican sunflowers) suffered most; however, a few Lonicera sempervirens (native honeysuckle) vines are still blooming lightly, the Ipomoea lobata is unfazed as are many salvias and the thicker-leaved Agastaches are still flowering well.
Marigolds. They’re the easiest flowering plant to grow from seed, they bloom nonstop, resist frost and attract bees. Although I’ve seen many bumble bees on these flower cultivars, I plan to replace them with something even more wildlife-friendly next season.
The grass is a bit unruly here but the hummingbird didn’t seem to mind.
Below is Salvia coccinea grown from seed, frost-bitten but still flowering with Ilex verticillata ‘Winter Red’ berries reddening in the background. If you can find the native species instead of cultivars, that is ideal since they’re typically hardier and you’re guaranteed to attract and support wildlife since plant species have coevolved over millions of years with specific wildlife.
This is probably the last time I saw a hummingbird. Sipping from the hot air balloon feeder and then perched on a young Albizia julibrissin commonly known as Mimosa tree.