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Diggin' It

Annuals and perennials that attract birds to your yard

Choosing your perennial and annual flowers wisely will keep birds coming back for more.

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Hangouts for hummers
While hummingbirds are drawn to sugar-water feeders, they also need regular watering spots for drinking and preening. Tubular-flowered perennials planted nearby will be a major hit with them. In Zones 6 and above, try hardy fuchsia (Fuchsia magellanica).

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Penstemons are also excellent and reliable,such as the dark-leafed Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’. Red flowering Lobelia cardinalis is even happy with its roots right down in the water. All kinds of salvias, such as bedding sage (Salvia x superba ‘May Night’), or self-seeding clary sage (Salvia sclarea) will have your garden humming with tiny fliers.

You'll also want to read these other posts by Mary-Kate about bird-friendly gardening:

These native plants attract birds to your winter garden

How to choose trees that will encourage birds to hang around your yard

A bird-friendly garden needs good shrubs

Mary-Kate Mackey is one of eight garden writers who blog regularly at Diggin' It. She is co-author of “Sunset’s Secret Gardens — 153 Design Tips from the Pros” and contributor to the “Sunset Western Garden Book,” writes a monthly column for the Hartley Greenhouse webpage and numerous articles for Fine Gardening, Sunset, and other magazines. She teaches at the University of Oregon’s School of Journalism & Communication. She writes about water in the garden for Diggin’ It.

Editor’s note: To read more by Mary-Kate, see our blog archive. The Monitor’s main gardening page offers articles on many gardening topics. See also our RSS feed. You may want to visit Gardening With the Monitor on Flickr. Take part in the discussions and get answers to your gardening questions. If you join the group (it’s free), you can upload your garden photos and enter our next contest.

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