EXPLOREMY LIBRARY
Travel & Outdoor
Birds & Blooms

Birds & Blooms

June/July 2020

Birds & Blooms is the #1 bird and garden magazine in North America with more than 1 million subscribers. We pride ourselves in celebrating the “beauty in your own backyard” with a mix of expert advice and personal stories from our family of readers. Our magazine covers a wide range of topics such as attracting hummingbirds, building birdhouses, gardening for butterflies, feeding birds for less, growing veggies, tales of readers’ birding experiences, plus a whole lot more.

Country:
United States
Language:
English
Publisher:
Trusted Media Brands Inc.
Frequency:
Bimonthly
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7 Issues

in this issue

2 min.
finding joy in birds

I’m writing this in early April from my living room in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. My work-at-home routine includes frequent visits to the window to check my bird feeder. Earlier this week I messaged my team, declaring that every dark-eyed junco in the county was in my yard—or so it seemed. And editor Rachel shared her first goldfinch sighting. Art director Sharon chimed in to say that honking sandhill cranes were her background noise. In this trying time, sharing bird sightings is bringing us together even though we’re working miles apart. That’s the best thing about birds. No matter what’s going on in the world, they’re still the hungry, entertaining fliers we all love. Nothing lifts our spirits quite like hummingbirds, so it’s been a treat to work on this…

1 min.
rock the garden

Playin’ the Blues Salvia Salvia longispicata x farinacea ‘Playin’ the Blues’, Annual Part of the Rockin’ series, Playin’ the Blues salvia is a true pollinator magnet. Its purple-blue flowers bloom shortly after planting and last until the first hard frost. The fragrant foliage is deer resistant, and the flowers are sterile—which means no need to deadhead. Attracts: Light needs: Full to part sun. Size: 2 to 4 feet tall and about 3 feet wide. Grown for: Attracting wildlife and showy cut flowers. Foliage: Glossy green leaves. Other colors: Try Deep Purple, Blue Suede Shoes or Fuchsia for dark purple, blue or pink tones. Also part of the Rockin’ series, they offer the same benefits.…

2 min.
the mountain hummingbird

Hummingbirds aren’t usually known for the noises they make—unless it’s the sound of one zooming past you—but broad-tailed hummingbirds are loud visitors. Females keep up a constant vocal twittering, and males add a loud trill from their specialized wing feathers while in flight. “Once you learn their sound, you won’t forget it!” says David Mehlman, who served as director of the Nature Conservancy’s Migratory Bird Program. “The male broad-tailed is the most distinctive-sounding of all North American hummingbirds,” David says. If you live in the mountains of the West or visit the region in summer, you’re bound to hear these very common and abundant hummingbirds, maybe even before you see them. Aside from the noise, it is the male’s bold throat that first catches attention, not the tail. Adult males sport a showy…

1 min.
the feed

FEED A MULTITUDE Hang a few feeders instead of one, because these territorial birds come in droves. EXPANDING EAST Several types of western hummingbirds, including broad-taileds, are now showing up in the Gulf States in fall and winter. While no one knows exactly why, David Mehlman jokes, “Maybe it’s the gumbo.” FAVORITE NATIVE The red birds in a tree shrub (Scrophularia macrantha, Zones 4 to 9) attracts broad-tailed hummingbirds where it grows wild in the Southwest. It produces nectar-filled flowers that look just like little birds. PHOTO COURTESY OF TERRA NOVA NURSERIES, INC., WWW.TERRANOVANURSERIES.COM…

4 min.
totally tubular

1 Larkspur DELPHINIUM SPP., ZONES 3 TO 7 Although it’s a bit picky, larkspur is well worth the effort when spires of blue flowers reach for the sky. Delphiniums require full sun and organic, moist, well-draining soil. Avoid planting it in windy locations, and cut it back around midsummer for a second set of flowers. Why we love it: Delphinium exaltatum is native in the East and sturdy enough to grow in Zones 4 to 8. 2 Flowering tobacco NICOTIANA ALATA, ANNUAL Plant flowering tobacco along sidewalks, next to your deck or patio, or near open windows where you can enjoy the lovely evening fragrance. This adaptable plant reseeds readily and grows best in full sun and rich soils. It also comes in a variety of colors and sizes. Why we love it: The trumpet-shaped flowers and bold…

3 min.
grow a memory

Last fall I made a detour on my way to the airport. Wrapping up a visit to my hometown, I wanted to see one last friend before getting on the plane. I live a thousand miles away now, so it’s not often that I get to see the tree my dad planted for me when I was born. It may be just a silver maple to some, but it’s my silver maple. Through the years I’ve continued this tradition. When my nephew Nick was born, I planted a black walnut to mark the occasion. I paid $2.50 for the seedling, but it was priceless to hear Nick had made a pilgrimage to see the tree decades later. I had always made it plain to him that it was his tree, and…