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"Possibility and promise greet me each day as I walk out into my garden. My vigor is renewed when I breathe in the earthiness and feel the dirt between my fingers. My garden is a peaceful spot to refresh my soul." Meems

Welcome to my Central Florida Garden Blog where we garden combining Florida natives, Florida-Friendly plants, and tropicals.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Hummer Makes My Case For Crimson Pentas

Crimson pentas rank high on the 'favorite year-round perennials' list here.

For so many reasons.

They are bright and cheery and endure all kinds of ill-weather. Mine all came back from being frosted to the ground this winter. They bloom consistently all year long. Other than benefiting from deadheading occasionally (not required) pentas of all colors ask for very little from the gardener. Grown in partial shade or direct sunlight makes them suitable for just about every garden.

They are most notably a butterfly attractor!

Recently they were bumped up to an even higher position on my favorites list.


I NEVER EVER have my camera handy when I see hummingbirds in my garden. Occasionally one will come whizzing past me while I work; sounding like an overgrown bumble bee to my ears. But it is no use trying to scramble for the camera. I'd rather just enjoy the sight of them in their lightning-fast motion.

Such was the case as Mr. Meems and I were eating brunch on the back porch the other day. Only it was Mr. Meems who spoke up saying, "I think I just saw a hummingbird on the roses." Immediately I doubted his identification as not moments prior I had watched the chickadees as they fluttered about the feeders in almost-hummbingbird-like motion. Surely he has seen the chickadees was my first thought.

Not so. He was absolutely right. Sure enough it was a hummer. (I should've known right!?).

We watched that busy hummer through the screening about 40' away for a good while. It moved from the knockout rose tree, to the crimson pentas, over to the mexican petunias and back again. Repeatedly. Hungry little hummer.

Finally I could stand it no more. We came up with a plan.

Mr. Meems scurried inside for my camera (while I kept my eye on the hummer). Then he stealthily opened the screened door for me to slip outside unnoticed in an attempt to maybe... just maybe get a photo. Oh, how I needed my monopod. I was excited and too far away ~~ my hand just couldn't get steady enough.

Still, I gave it my best effort and this is it. What a thrill to see them sipping nectar from any of my plants. It is almost always the coral honeysuckle or the fire bush that attracts them. They DO love the color RED.

One of these days I'm going to be ready and all the universe will align for that in-focus hummer photo.

One of these days...


  1. I think you did a great job getting the pics of the hummingbird! I keep hoping that someday I will see one in my yard. I certainly have plenty of plants that are supposed to attract them.

    It is actually raining now. How welcome that is!!

  2. Stunning photography!
    Very beautiful and unusual!

  3. Oh, how exciting! A hummingbird! Those are great shots of an elusive subject. It's so nice to have them in the garden along with all the other wildlife a garden attracts. Chickadees? Really? I don't think I've seen any of those.

  4. That Hummer is really loving your Penta's. Great images Meems.

  5. Siesta Sister,
    RAIN!! Yay! You might have them and not see them. They are so small and quick... keep your eyes peeled ... maybe this summer.

    Thank you. It was definitely fun to try.

    The tiny 4" Carolina Chickadees... the ones that look like they are wearing a tiny black cap. They quickly come to the feeders, grab a seed and usually flit back up to the trees. Sometimes there's so many of them trying to feed at once they sort of flutter around it waiting for their turn.

  6. Lona,
    Oh, I just saw it AGAIN ... a few minutes ago... it was hanging out on the very same plant. So FUN!!!

  7. My pentas came back especially pretty this year too! No hummers though. Great job on getting decent photos. They are hard to photograph!

  8. That bird's got your number. You can be sure it'll come-a-callin' again! So glad you had the thrill of catching it on film! Good work!

  9. Great photos - those wings move fast, and this shows the action.

  10. Those are stunning hummer pictures even you were in a rush! I never saw hummingbirds in my own garden, several times I thought I saw one in distant, but could not be sure. I love humming bird, someday I hope I can see them for sure, or even lucky enought to capture a couple of photos of them too!

  11. Meems, those are fantastic photos in great focus. Shaking hands or not (I know the feeling), you did a professional job. Do you deadhead your pentas?

  12. Your photos look great, Meems. I wish we could overwinter Pentas in my locale. They're such awesome plants.

  13. Meems, This is what I live for in the garden to see a Hummer. I have planted a little section just to see the one visitor a year, Tomorrow I will change my feeders and just watch.Janis

  14. WG,
    I'm convinced hummers are visiting many gardens but unless you have a designated feeder they visit they are a bit elusive. I don't have a feeder so they fly from high in the trees down to nectar.

    Have seen it already a couple times since then... on the very same plant.

    So remarkably fast!

    I took those photos through the limbs of a crape myrtle with my zoom extended as far as it could go... not the best way to get clarity. But I didn't want to spook the little fellow.

    I wish I could snap my camera onto the monopod instead of screwing it on... I rarely use it and I should more often because it really helps with bird photos. I don't make it a regular duty to deadhead my pentas. But once in a while it does happen. It is not a required thing for them to bloom well. They will just bloom quicker (kind of like knockout roses). I will however soft-prune them back a couple of times this summer to hopefully keep them from getting too lanky.

    Do you plant them in your garden in summertime?

    Crimson Pentas! This little guy was going to the knockout rose, too. You might have some in your front garden that you haven't seen.

  15. Meems-I think your photos are pretty darn good.YardBoy caught some good shots of a hummer at our feeder,but he has the patience to sit there for over an hour,just to catch that one shot.I just can't do that.

  16. Oh Meems, how wonderful to get so many shots of the adorable little hummer. That's definitely not an easy task as they are so quick. Even though I love all the pentas colors, but red is my favorite. My daughter and I caught sight of one on our fruit cocktail shrimp plant and then he hopped over to the tangerine shrimp. It's always a delight to see them in the garden.

  17. I love the excitement of it all. And how lucky for you to have captured the moment, only to share it with us all. Thanks!

  18. Amazing photos, Meems! And such a co-incidence ... I have crimson pentas featuring in my blog too. Love them! And that hummingbird is so gorgeous.... sigh!


Have a blessed day,

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