All posts by sunrisenoble

Hummingbird Gardens

Hummingbirds are brightly colored birds that are always a wonder to see, and it’s easy to attract them to your garden.

These remarkable creatures have striking plumage and a high energy lifestyle. Three species of hummingbird live in Florida through much of the year, and another two can occasionally be seen here in the winter. The most commonly seen is the ruby-throated. This feathered jewel is only about three inches long and weighs as little as a penny.

Hummingbirds get their name from the sound their wings make while beating up to 200 times per second. One of these remarkable birds’ most amazing traits is their helicopter-like flying stunts. Not only can hummingbirds suspend their bodies in midair, they can also fly backwards, upwards, and even upside-down.

To support all their high-speed activity, hummingbirds need to consume large amounts of high-energy nectar. To attract hummingbirds to your garden, choose plants with brightly colored or tubular flowers, like hibiscus or the native coral honeysuckle. Hummingbirds prefer red, orange, and pink flowers, and use their long tongues to sip the nectar found within.

Hummingbirds nest spring through summer and need a lot of nectar during that time, so make sure you have numerous nectar plants available. You can also help meet their needs with a hummingbird feeder.

The Importance of Bees: Pollination

The most important thing that bees do is pollinate. Pollination is needed for plants to reproduce, and so many plants depend on bees or other insects as pollinators.

When a bee collects nectar and pollen from the flower of a plant, some pollen from the stamens—the male reproductive organ of the flower—sticks to the hairs of her body. When she visits the next flower, some of this pollen is rubbed off onto the stigma, or tip of the pistil—the female reproductive organ of the flower. When this happens, fertilization is possible, and a fruit, carrying seeds, can develop.

How Do Plants Attract Bees?

Plants rely on bees and other insects to reproduce and so they have adapted, over time, to become more attractive to them. Bees are drawn to plants with open or flat tubular flowers with lots of pollen and nectar. A flower’s scent can have particular appeal to bees, and its bright colors may lure the bees in.

Effects of Bees on Fruit

Flowers that are visited more often by bees will produce larger and more uniform fruit than those visited less often. This beneficial effect of pollination is most obvious in tree fruit.

Types of Pollinators

Bees share the job of pollinating. Some plants are pollinated by other animals, wind or water. Plant flowers have adapted to the different pollinators.


Some birds, especially hummingbirds, pollinate plants. The plants that attract birds are generally brightly coloured, with red, orange or yellow flowers, but are often odourless, since birds have a poor sense of smell. The flowers are often long and tubular, with lots of nectar, and are sturdy enough for perching on.

Other Animals

Many animals that pollinate plants, such as bats, are nocturnal, meaning “active at night,” and so the flowers that need to attract them often have a strong smell, but may not be too colourful.


The wind pollinates many plants. Usually they have less colourful, unscented flowers and do not produce nectar. The stamens and pistils of these plants are often long. Their pollen is usually lighter in weight than other plant pollen. The wind carries the pollen from one plant to another.


A small number of plants, particularly those in rivers and streams, are pollinated by water.

Getting Hummers to Visit Your Garden!!

HummerHanging a feeder from an eave will attract these little bundles of near-perpetual motion to your yard; however, a feeder that is strategically surrounded by certain summer plants guarantees many repeat visitors.  Hummingbirds are attracted to a safe place to hang out, talk to each other, flirt, bathe and eat.  So, if you want to draw a large population to your yard, your landscape should include plants, trees, shrubs, and colorful vines that these little birds especially like. Continue reading Getting Hummers to Visit Your Garden!!

Attracting Wildlife with Florida Plants

tort1What Wildlife Needs

Wildlife needs food, water, and cover, and can only live where these needs are met.  Florida’s plants and animals (from panthers and black bears to the tiniest insects) have co-evolved over thousands of years, resulting in a complex and wondrous web of interdependence.  An ideal landscape uses native plants to provide a year round food supply – such as berries, fruit, seeds, and nuts.  Water is essential for wildlife, and your water source can be as elaborate as a pond with a waterfall or as simple as a dish of water.  Cover needs to be provided for wildlife to breed, nest, hide, sleep, and feed. Continue reading Attracting Wildlife with Florida Plants

Create A More Bee-autiful Home & Garden!

Bees as a watchable wildlife, you might ask?  Don’t worry, nearly all species of bees are gentle and will not sting you.  They are simply searching for food, pollen and nectar.  Bees move pollen from flower to flower so vegetables and fruits can grow and develop.  As a bee visits a flower or blossom, there fuzzy bodies and hairy legs attract the flower’s pollen.  Upon visiting the next flower the pollen grains rub off the bee’s legs onto that flower’s stigma.  That’s when fertilization takes place.  As a result, our gardens fill with vegetables and our fruit trees bear crops.  Nothing happens in the vegetable garden without pollination.  By selecting the best bee-rewarding plants, you can attract beneficial pollinating bees and other creatures to your flower and vegetable garden or backyard fruit orchard. Continue reading Create A More Bee-autiful Home & Garden!

Birds in the Garden:


Creating a Haven for Colorful Birds in Your Yard

Birds bring many benefits to our lives.  They fill our gardens with song, bring a spark of color and interest to our winter landscapes, and also eat many garden pests.  Attracting birds to your landscape is fun.  Their needs are easy to meet and just about everyone can achieve success by providing them with three basic things:  shelter, water, and food.

Continue reading Birds in the Garden: