Yesterday I worked on my pond...again. Still? Anyway, I was watering some plants I was going to put up on the hill where the waterfall starts. I turned around to see a female Black-chinned Hummingbird feeding from one of the new plants! She's late; only a couple days short of the (late) record, here.
I got some really interesting plants: some spectacular 'Cranberry Cotoneaster' which looks very similar to pyracrantha but has no thorns! I remember, as a kid, watching waxwings get drunk eating the berries.
It seems the older I get, and the more arthritis swells my knuckles, the less interested I am in plants with nasty thorns and stickers. They hurt like hell! This plant, oddly pronounced: Co Tone E Aster and not Cotton Easter, is perfect...and the birds love it. I've got several varieties already; each with its own particular leave structure and berry. Sweet.
The guy at Rocky Mtn. Landscape in Pueblo West, also suggested a Mountain Fuchsia; a pretty 'hummingbird shrub' that is fine at higher altitudes, and is xeric to boot! This is what the little hummer was sipping from, when I saw her on October 9th. I hadn't had the plant in my yard more than a day; it was still in the growing pot.
I also picked up a stunning new plant for the yard: a Red Texas Yucca...which is not a yucca at all. It has long, thin dagger-like leaves, sort of leathery like yucca but instead of sharp hooks along the leaves, it merely has a fibrous look.
I think a single one, planted as a 'feature' plant will look spectacular. It is so architectural looking and yet, each blossom is stunning in its own right.
I like plants that don't bite! I think it will look spectacular even when not flowering, and again; no thorny spikes along the leaves. I like leaves...heck, I a couple years ago I planted some artichokes just for the leaves and found the thistle beautiful, too.
Photos are from Wikipedia, including the hummingbird collage, which I constructed.