Written by an area Landscape Architect and birdwatcher with over 30 years of experience with landscaping in north Texas: what works and what doesn't. Emphasis on attracting birds to north Texas yards, and reducing required yard maintenance. Tips, trivia and proven advice for a natural, low-cost approach for this unique and sensitive part of the country.
I simply got
tired of the mess, the mixing and the constant bother of nectar feeders for Hummingbirds
(I had four feeders).Although the
hummers loved them – I didn’t.
Instead I now
have several large “masses” of flowering, native plants that do a remarkable
job of attracting hummingbirds and butterflies. All plants have nectar in
varying amounts - the ones in my yard are Turk’s cap, lantana, flame acanthus,
ironweed and mistflower. Others may do well too, particularly ones with a high
nectar content and tube-shaped flowers. (incidentally
a “mass” of flowers is at least 50 square feet. For lantana, that’s around 50
plants, depending on their spacing)
Each flower species
has a peak blooming period. Choose carefully, so there’sflowers available all summer long. The heat of the summer is the time to enjoy
the flowers & Hummingbirds, however it’s definitely not the time to
plant flowers. Most flowers in this area should be planted in late winter - for
some woodier plants (like acanthus) plant right after the first frost – usually
Having a few mature
trees around encourages Hummingbirds to nest nearby – always a plus.
You may not attract
large throngs (like I did with four nectar feeders), but you can forget about
mixing, spilling and re-filling all summer. Just feed naturally!
addition to blogging, is a Landscape Architect emeritus from here, who‘s
worked in north Texas for over 30 years.He is a member of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA),
International Society of Landscape Architects, the National BirdFeeding
Society, National Wildlife Federation and the Audubon Society. He was honored
with a Lifetime Achievementaward by the Native Plant Society of Texas. His design office is at firstname.lastname@example.org