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Saturday, August 27, 2011

Winged Wonders II

At the end of July, I posted  about how my garden was thriving, in spite of the heat and the drought. 

As we suffer on through August, the garden is winding down now.  There's not much blooming at all, except a few lantana in the front border.  In the back there are still some milkweed and the crape myrtles are still blooming.

But the star of the show right now has to be the Anisacanthus quadrifidus var. wrightii (A. wrightii), known as Flame Acanthus, Hummingbird Bush or the Texas Firecracker plant.  It's a Texas native plant, drought and heat tolerant so it's right at home now!

The reason I mention it now is because of the spectacle I witnessed this morning.  I'll just let the photos speak for themselves and you'll see why this post is called Winged Wonders II.

As always, you can view the full sized image by clicking on the photos below.

The Flame Acanthus is in the back border, within easy view of our patio.  As I sat outside with my morning coffee, a flash of movement drew my attention and I realized that the hummingbirds were out and about.  As I watched, three of them darted, swooped, hovered and generally played around the garden, and finally they settled in around the Flame Acanthus.

I just kept clicking - sometimes there was a hummingbird in the shot, sometimes there wasn't!

They really do love the Flame Acanthus and so do I.  It survived the onslaught of the kittens in the garden last summer, it survived the freeze this past winter and it's acting as though this summer's heat is nothing.  

I need to plant more of these!  But in the meantime, the sugar water feeders are out too, to help the hummers prepare for their migration.

Words and photographs by Jayne Wilson, Green and Serene, Jayne's Country Garden.


Pam's English Garden said...

Dear Jayne, I have long wished I could grow Flame Acanthus in my zone 5 garden -- now I am totally envious! Your pictures are incredible. P. x

Jayne said...

Thank you Pam. I was just lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time.

Birdwoman said...

Flame acanthus is a real winner in our climate. I've long had a planting bed filled with it along one side of my vegetable garden and I'm always amazed at the traffic it gets. The hummingbirds, of course, but also butterflies of all kinds and native bees love its blossoms. It may be my favorite plant in the garden right now. Furthermore, it is seldom watered and thrives on neglect. It never droops. Wonderful plant!

leavesnbloom said...

I've never heard of that plant before Jayne but it certainly looks as if those little beauties are enjoying it despite your drought.

Kathleen Scott said...

How cool! It's definitely migration time.

Baltimore orioles have taken to our hummer feeders on the back porch the last day or so, an unexpected sight.