I’ve been wanting to share a particular tale from the garden with you for several weeks now, but I’ve been waiting to get that perfect photo to accompany my tale first. At this point in the season, I realize . . . it ain’t gonna happen. So here goes: A tale from the garden that begins with a really bad photo.

If you follow the curvy arrow in the photo above, you’ll see a hummingbird (you may need to squint . . . ). (Trust me, this is the best photo I’ve got — and I’ve been taking blurry hummingbird photos for weeks now.)

I sit on my patio with Tom (okay, and a glass of wine) every evening before dinner . . . and we watch the hummingbirds swarm in the garden. It’s just magical! The little birds flit about in the garden at all hours of the day, but they put on their best show in the late afternoon/early evening.

We don’t have a hummingbird feeder.
We just have flowers.
And, in particular, we have these flowers . . .

They’re called Black and Blue Salvia. They’re annuals in my corner of the universe. And . . . they are absolute hummingbird magnets!

I’d first heard about Black and Blue Salvia from a gardening friend several years ago, and I always meant to try them in my containers . . . but I had a hard time finding them at my local gardening haunts. Until last year. I tried a couple of plants in my patio containers — and suddenly, they were attracting hummingbirds like crazy!

This year, I decided to significantly expand my efforts with Black and Blue Salvia. In early May I picked up an entire flat of the plants at my favorite local nursery. (I’ve learned the tricks — you need to find them early in the season, and you need to buy what you need when you find them. They sell out quickly.) I put a few of the plants in my pots, but I planted most of them in little clumps here and there in my perennial gardens, all within easy view of our patio.

They bloom all summer long, and they mesh in with my perennials quite well. I’ve tried lots of other (alleged) hummingbird-attracting plants (most of them with red blooms), but nothing has ever worked as . . . magnetically . . . as these Black and Blue Salvia.

They are a most magical plant. And they attract the most magical little birds!
(Seriously. I think I’ll buy TWO flats next May . . .)