April 2, 2010

Many people enjoy seeing hummingbirds in their gardens during the summer, but unfortunately, only one of the nearly 300 hummingbird species is present east of the Rocky Mountains -- the ruby-throated hummingbird.

Terry Little, a Calloway County Cooperative Extension Homemaker and hummingbird enthusiast, recently talked to participants at the Spring into Green event about ways to make their gardens more attractive to ruby-throated hummingbirds, including flower selection, providing shelter, and selecting the right nectar and feeders.  He also discussed predators of hummingbirds.

Little was just one of the speakers at Spring into Green: Garden Edition, hosted by Purchase Area family and consumer sciences agents with the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service. The goal of the event was to teach participants more environmentally friendly and sustainable gardening practices.

"I hope the participants learned ways to beautify their homes and surroundings and were able to add to their quality of life by doing so," said Sara Bogle, Carlisle County family and consumer sciences extension agent. "I also hope they gained valuable life skills through the workshops and found ways they could save a little money."

In addition to Little's session, other topics included the decisions on whether to repair or replace trees damaged from the 2009 ice storm, food preservation, container gardening and making floral arrangements from flowers in your backyard. Representatives from a local nursery were the keynote speakers. They provided information about the newest trends in landscapes and gardens.

This was the second year for the Spring into Green event, but the idea came from area-wide programs the extension agents offered several years ago.  Emphasis for the daylong event changes each year.  In 2009, extension agents and area specialists focused on ways to make their homes more environmentally friendly and energy efficient as well as home-decorating ideas.