Purple Lantana in a Very Special Container

We had the same neighbors for 40 years. When they recently moved to New York, they asked if I would like this ceramic plant pot for my garden. Our children all grew up together and this container was made by their oldest daughter in her high school ceramics class. It meant something to my neighbor, but was one of those things that had to be left behind, as often happens when people move. The plant pot was empty when I received it, and I  thought that my new purple lantana would go well in it. I really like the purple contrasted with the black and white.
After seeing my recent post, Lantana in a Butterfly and Hummingbird Garden,  my old neighbor asked  me to peek over the fence and see if the lantana was still growing in their  yard. I did peek, and was happy to tell her it was. I hope she sees this post and knows I’m taking good care of this special gift.


Lantana in Butterfly and Hummingbird Gardens

Lantana is a wonderful addition to your garden for attracting both butterflies and hummingbirds.  Last week while at the garden nursery looking at roses, I suddenly thought it would be nice to add some plants to the yard  that would attract butterflies. A very helpful employee showed me many different plants, and told me that most plants that attract butterflies also attract hummingbirds.  I was immediately attracted to the lantana with its many beautiful colors.

Lantana is considered a perennial in areas that don’t have hard frosts, but in colder climates, it’s treated as an annual.It grows well in both the ground and in containers, and is very popular because of its extended blooming season. I learned that In some areas it flowers all year round. This is the first time I’ve grown lantana in my garden, so I’m not sure how long we’ll have flowers. I’ll have to let you know.

Lantana should be planted in full sun, because it’s prone to mildew if grown in a shady location. It should be watered deeply, but not too frequently once established. Lantana is drought tolerant which is especially nice here in California. An occasional feeding of mild fertilizer is good, but too much water and fertilizer can actually cut down on bloom. As you can see from the above photos, I have four different colors in the garden. I brought home three last week and my husband surprised me yesterday with the lavender one in the top photo. I love all four colors and so do the butterflies. I’ve already noticed a few fluttering around the new plants, and I’m sure there will soon be more.

Our Hummingbird Garden Part 2

mystic-blue-salviaIn my previous post, Our Hummingbird Garden, I promised to show you the rest of the plants in our new hummingbird garden. This is Mystic Blue Salvia, although it’s more purple than blue. Again you see the tubular shape to the blossoms, which make them perfect for the hummingbird’s long beak. The plants are doing well, and most are forming new buds.

lemon-lightThis Lemon Light Salvia is getting ready to flower. We haven’t seen a flowering Lemon Light, and we are really looking forward to the first blossom.salvia-micropylla-2This is Salvia Microphylla, commonly referred to as ‘baby sage’.  I love the pink and white heart shaped flowers. This variety is called Hot Lips.

Berkely-BarbBerkeley Barb is a Mountain Sage. It’s named for a counterculture newspaper that was published in Berkeley California from 1965 to 1980.

All of these plants with the exception of Berkeley Barb prefer full sun and are growing happily in the center of our back yard, but we may have to move the little Mountain Sage as the summer progresses and the days become warmer.First-hummingbirdThe morning after we started our garden, I was taking long distance photos of the plants, when I realized that a hummingbird was enjoying nectar from the Salvia Gregii. I continued to take photos, hoping I’d caught one of our first visitor. I hope you can see her enjoying some breakfast. As the plants grow and produce more flowers, I’m sure we will see many more of these little birds, and I’ll be posting more and more photographs. I’ll also share any new plants with you as well. I’m sure there will be many more, since there are so many beautiful choices.



Our Hummingbird Garden



Salvia-gregii-oneWe love hummingbirds, and always have a feeder filled with sugar water hanging outside our kitchen window. In Southern California we have the Allen’s Hummingbird, the Black chinned Hummingbird, and the Anna’s Hummingbird. The Anna’s doesn’t migrate, so we enjoy them all year round. I’d been thinking of starting a hummingbird garden for quite awhile, so the birds would be attracted to our yard, and not always dependent on the sugar water mixture in the feeder.

Two days ago we visited our local nursery and with the help of one of the garden professionals, who was a fellow hummingbird lover, we arrived home with seven plants that hummingbirds favor. The beautiful pink blossomed plant above is the Salvia gregii.

Salvia-black-and-blue-oneHere you see the Salvia Black and Blue. Notice the tubular blossoms. They are perfect for the hummingbird’s long beak, an interesting characteristic of Salvia plants.Pineapple-sage-1This pineapple sage is the plant I’d planned to make the first addition to our hummingbird garden. I’ve been promised spires of cardinal red blooms. I can’t wait, and apparently neither can the hummingbirds. I’ve read that here in Southern California, where we rarely have hard freezes, the blooms may continue all year. There are many uses for this plant, including tossing a few of the red flowers in salads. Amazing!

I’ve included only three of the plants we’ve made part of our hummingbird garden in this latest post. Today I’ll be out taking more photos of the garden and hopefully some of the little residents enjoying a sip of nectar. I’ll include the remainder of the plants next time.