Purple Beans: A Hummingbird Attraction
The most beautiful flowers in my garden right now are those of the Ruby Moon hyacinth bean vines that I planted along the fence. They're putting on a gorgeous show of color, as other plants in the garden begin to fade.
All parts of the Ruby Moons are purple -- the stems, the veins of the leaves, the flowers and the bean pods. My husband and I first saw these in New Hampshire, and, though I included them in our garden as an ornamental, I was curious to know whether the beans are edible. I am glad I checked because it turns out that they are poisonous at certain stages of their growth. They're apparently not poisonous to deer, though, which have been making regular visits to munch on the leaves that stick out from the front fence.
What I didn't realize when I planted these was that they are a wonderful attraction for hummingbirds. I adore hummingbirds. In the first two years at the community garden, I'd never seen one; this year was the first time. It hovered briefly by the Ruby Moons, and I was so in awe that the synapses in my brain failed to fire a signal to pick up the camera and snap a photo. I think it was a "deer in the headlights" moment. I love those little birds and it was so special to see one at my garden.
Now I've been seeing hummingbirds -- there are at least two of them -- that visit regularly. Yesterday I spent some time (a lot of time) trying to get a few photos of them.
I've already decided that I will include Ruby Moons in my garden next year, not only because they're gorgeous and easy to grow (and drought-tolerant), but also for the hummingbirds.