Home again we are from camping trip #2! Unfortunately, we returned home to a dead main computer. Boo. So I grabbing the laptop, and taking full advantage of the gorgeous weather, a flower filled outdoor patio office became my main stomping grounds.
To be honest, I can’t stand being indoors on a nice day. But I wanted to catch up online. So bringing the works out onto the covered patio was just what my extended vacation ordered.
The setup is really nothing too fancy. A low rider old trunk coffee table was swapped out for a taller trunk desk, and sitting on my pallet wood sofa, I was ready to roll.
Gotta share this mouse pad with you. I picked up this thing awhile ago and I’m crazy about it. The mouse pad has a hard top and metal bottom. I just love how substantial it is. It truly feels like a platform and allows a Mac’s magic mouse to glide wonderfully. Brand name reads as Allsop and was found at Staples, in Chilliwack, BC Canada.
The tray is a Bingo tray I made quite awhile ago. It’s still alive and well and gets reused for various things. Some projects are simply keepers.
My neighbour Janette did a little neighbourly swap. I handed her an iced coffee while she was suntanning and the cup was returned filled with gorgeous blooms. Ever do that? Something is offered one way, but the dish never gets returned empty?
Remember my 2013 clean patio reveal HERE? The flowers are doing so well in all the junk styled planters! I’ve been busy keeping them watered nearly daily along with a good shot of Miracle Grow once a week.
At one point, the geraniums had stopped blooming, but the boost of food created all these brand new blooms and buds. That Miracle Grow is truly something else. I get the powdered type, mix it together with water in a big jug and feed after the plants have been watered.
I only have one complaint and have NO idea what is wrong. These two fantastic vintage bottle styled hummingbird feeders are beautiful! Trouble is, they haven’t attracted even ONE hummingbird yet. Any idea why? Is it off season for them?
Edited to add: feeders were found at Rona and Canadian Tire, both in BC Canada.
The sugar water mix is 1 cup of sugar to 4 cups of water, boiled just until dissolved. Oh well! They are so pretty to look at anyway, kinda like garden jewelry. I’m just stumped, with all those amazing flowers surrounding them, you’d think they’d be in Hummingbird Heaven here.
Also had a little flower fun with a quirky hydrangea centrepiece in an old coke crate with vintage pop bottles.
Right before camping, I spotted these adorable whisks at Fortin’s Hardware Store. (Vedder Road, Chilliwack, B.C.) They even had a full sized broom in this style. I immediately fell in love and had to have a little one.
Wow. I’m just in love with all the flowers, sunshine and nature in general. And am so happy to be home to enjoy it!
51 thoughts on “A flower filled outdoor patio office”
Your garden patio is fab! I’d love to know where you found the hummingbird feeders. They are great. You’ve make the correct mixture for feed. Your are right that it is a bit late in the season. You need to attract the hummers in April and put the feeders away about now, mid summer. The birds need to migrate for the winter and won’t if the feeders are still full. Be sure to change the mixture often. My feeders empty quickly and the birds battle to be the only one feeding, even with several outlets. Be sure to clean the feeders well with very very mild bleach and rinse really well.
Hey Colleen, they are from Rona and Canadian Tire, both in BC, Canada. I’ve also edited the post to add that.
Thanks for the info on the cleaning part!
I love your outdoor spaces! The thing with the hummingbird feeders. Do you think the “flowers” where the birds get the nectar from are bright enough? They are beautiful feeders but the feeders I see here in Kansas have really bright red petals on the flower. Does that make sense? Maybe it needs a more realistic color?
I would have thought that too Chris, but many I know have said these two work great for them. AAARRGGG… only me. 🙂
Well they do have an overabundance of the real thing in your gorgeous backyard.
I have the same red bottle feeder, and put mine out early in the season. They noticed it and have been coming to it since. I have put it out late some years & find they don’t come to it. Maybe also you need to hang them out further on the edge of your deck, they might be scared to come so close?
I love being able to work outdoors on a laptop. Unfortunately, where I am now doesn’t have a screened in porch. In Louisiana mosquitoes will eat you alive. Love the cup returned with flowers. Your hydrangeas are gorgeous.
I debated on screening the porch to keep the cats in but chose to screen the doors instead to keep them in. We luckily don’t have mosquito issues here. I’d love to come south again and experience your issues though! haha
Funny how we become reliant. We live in Amish country and my husband and I always talk about just letting go and buying an Amish farm (no electric or plumbing)to see if we could do it. Hmmm….
I love those hummingbird feeders. They were one of our best sellers at the garden center where I work ( Lancaster County, Pa ) I am not sure of the migration season in your neck of the woods, but don’t get discouraged, as for next season, in the spring, put them out and I am sure you will see some hummers. Love the outdoor office. I am known to use my sun room for that very purpose. Miracle Grow is something else, isn’t it? I love it and use it weekly.
Wow what a great summer “office”. Gorgeous flowers and just the right amount of junk!
Love your blog! I am having a problem attracting hummingbirds this year too, usually not an issue! I have tried different feeders, even up-ed the sugar a bit. A local garden writer here in Michigan wrote an article that because of the early frost last year/late frost this year, the bird population is low this year and hummingbirds are one of them. I am in Michigan. Don’t give up though! Your garden patio is gorgeous and you have more than enough color with flowers! Like someone else suggested, maybe hang them out in the open a bit more? Thanks for sharing the pics and good luck!
Love our outdoor office! I have those feeders, here in Missouri,too. I got them years ago at Walmart, believe it or not. The problem was, they never, Ever used it! I had a cheapo plastic one in the same area and they were on that all the time!
I keep the glass ones out, anyway. They’re so pretty with the sunlight shining through.
Donna, Your outdoor office space is a pure delight! I’d be out there day and night. 🙂 I always put my feeders out on tax day here…April 15th. And within a day or two the “scouts” come by to check it out. I always wonder if I have the same hummer family every year. 🙂 I did a blog post yesterday on our hummingbirds. Hope you can come by for a visit to see them. Watching the hummingbirds and the bright yellow finches at their feeder area each morning, along with my iced coffee, is my daily routine. 🙂 xo Lynn @thevintagenest
When I make hummingbird food I use about 1 part sugar to 2 parts water. I don’t boil it. I just dump it together, give it a stir, and let it sit. I go back and stir every once in awhile and when it’s all dissolved I put it in the feeder. I usually make more than I need and store it in a fruit jar in the fridge. I have hummingbirds all day long. Maybe you aren’t using enough sugar.
How beautiful! Thanks for sharing!
I have to say I would never go back into the house again .Ok maybe to get some ice cream from the freezer.
What a beautiful way to catch up and ease out of time away.
No longest yard sale for you this year?
I have to catch up and read a few posts. I have also been outside and taking advantage of summer weather. The season is too short here.
I have to get myself a laptop or notebook or some way to stay in touch outdoors, but then again, time unplugged has its own rewards.
The weather is perfection here as well. I’m sitting out on my side porch as I read and comment on your post. What a great way to blog… right?
YOur porch and especially the hummingbird feeders are fabulous!!! I hope the little birds find your feeders… what a pretty treat!
The hummingbird feeders are beautiful! Hummingbird populations seem to be down this year. I have heard a theory that the spring storms caused nests/eggs to be destroyed. Not sure if that is why you aren’t seeing any or not though.
I love your patio! Mines feeling a little underused right now as I seem to be having my morning coffee with my computer and it’s not set up in a way to make it comfortable to sit out their with my lap top 🙁 Thinking there will be some big changes out there next spring…
I’m really loving those hydrangeas, do you know how much shade they can handle???
As for the hummingbird feeders it could be one of two things…the first being that there are currently lots of natural options for them to feed off of, not just in your yard but in all the yards in your neighborhood. The second could be the lack of red food colouring… I know they say it’s not good for them, but in my experience every time I’ve left it out I’ve gotten zero hummingbirds…I’ve also found that you have to be super consistent, and every year you will attract more and more. It starts slow but once they know they can count on you they will come.
The hummingbirds haven’t found your feeders because there’s nothing red on it to attract their attention. Try adding a strip of ribbon around the glass. Also, I didn’t see any flowers with long necks, like trumpet vine, morning glory, petunias, sweet peas and zinnias. They seem to be especially attracted to red, orange and purple flowers. Also, the mixture can sour in the heat, so make sure it’s fresh. Once they find the feeders you’ll have plenty of hummingbirds.
You’ve got a little piece of heaven there! I was just sitting outside in the sun yesterday WISHING I had a laptop instead of having to come sit in the house to write a post. How great would it be to write a garden post while in the garden?! Ah well, maybe someday.
My mom always taught me to never return a dish empty. The flowers in the mug is too cute.
If you’re use to a larger desktop, a laptop feels pretty minimal… but it sure is nice to catch up and browse for certain! And especially nice for a trip to Starbucks. 🙂 Santa, get this girl a laptop please!
What you have is pure gorgeousness! If I were a hummer, I’d certainly want to be there! I’m in WV (Middle South), and my hummers usually come mid-May (that’s when I hang my feeders, although it’s recommended to hang them a few weeks earlier here in my zone 7A). It’s only been these last two weeks that my feeders have been nearly drained in my landscape (I change & clean at least 2X/week regardless, esp. if the water gets cloudy from heat).
I use the same mix as you, my feeders are the old plastic (red base, clear tube). The only other suggestion I would have would be to plant either a perennial that they like (butterfly bush, bee balm – check your zone for cold hardiness). Or, you could plant penta in lieu of geranium in a couple of your containers – hummers like pentas (I do all of these mentioned).
Great post – enjoyed all the eye candy!
I love the idea of having a hummingbird garden along the patio rail for next summer! I’ll save your suggestions and plan ahead! Thanks! Cool idea…
We have had the same problem with hummingbirds this year – have tried 3 different feeders in three spots but they just aren’t having any. We have seen one or two birds but just going after some little flowers. Really strange year LOL Your flower filled patio is lovely!
wish I could join you on that beautiful patio and have a tall glass of lemonade with you. I would “pick” your mind for creative ideas and using “junk”. Love the old stuff!!!
Your patio looks so bright, cute and happy! I love all the flowers and their “junky” holders. So cute! And, that hummingbird feeder is pretty. I hope the hummingbirds start coming around to enjoy it.
Welcome home! Your flowers are beautiful! I want a neighbor with such beautiful flowers to share! What a beautiful color your Hydrangeas are, wow! I love your green bottle humming bird feeder, so pretty. Glad you feed them pure sugar water, that is the best for them. Keep the feeders out, they will come. They are attracted to the red color, I’m sure you know that. Sometimes it takes them a while to find, and be comfortable, with a new food source.
I want to come work for you now….that’s my kinda office! Christine from Little Brags
I live in Northern California and I have only seen 1 hummingbird this year. Other years we have had hummers fighting over the feeder and I have had to refill it weekly. I have not changed anything so I know that isn’t an issue. So sad…we really enjoy them.
The flowers are beautiful!
Hi Pat…I’ve had similar experience and found that hummingbirds in Washington are not drawn to geraniums a-tall. If they are….they don’t like mine. Finally have hummingbirds year round. We have fuchsia baskets that attract them in the summer and they just stay year round even though the baskets are down. I also planted a couple bushes that they love called Salvia Hot lips. http://www.google.com/search?q=shrub+salvia+hot+lips&rls=com.microsoft:en-US:IE-SearchBox&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=fGn4UaCCOMT2iwL61oGACA&ved=0CDUQsAQ&biw=1501&bih=657
It’s a perennial plant that gets about 4 feet tall. I agree that you need to have the feeders out as soon as anything is blooming in the garden. Good luck:)
Looks fabulous! It’s funny that you mention hummingbirds tonight. I got a hummingbird feeder for Mother’s Day and so far, no visitors so I took it down. (I think the design was wrong on this one. Ornate and very frou frou.) Then tonight I was sitting on my back deck and I had my bedding out on the clothesline and lo and behold a hummingbird appeared. Some of my pillow shams have red flowers and that’s where it was! Poor thing!
I think perhaps the geraniums (which don’t seem to interest hummers) are too close to the feeder so the feeder gets lost in the red. Maybe add a couple of drops of food colouring too. Can’t say for sure but……worth a try.
Looks lovely, Donna! You really make me want to garden!
I had to post and thank you for making my smile. My uncle lived on Vedder Road until he passed two years ago. I hadn’t thought about him in a while but it’s right about the time he’d be making his annual trip to Alberta (to see family) and my heart warmed reading this. Silly, I know, but thank you.
But that pleasant corner you’ve built!!!
Hi Donna, your patio is simply gorgeous! I add a few drops of red food colouring to the sugar water for the hummingbirds/sunbirds to attract them. 🙂
I have the red vintage type hummingbird feeder like the one you have here. It took awhile for the hummers to find it, although it replaced one that broke that I hung in the same place. lol
They are pretty whether the hummers find you or not!! Always enjoy your posts. 🙂
Your patio is gorgeous with those beautiful healthy plants! I would think the hummers would come just for your flowers. You are using the right sugar/water ratio so that isn’t the problem. It does look like you have your feeders too close together, though. Hummingbirds are very territorial. Try taking one of them down or moving one to the front of your house. Hope that works!
I have your exact same hummingbird feeders. I made a perfect mix. I put them out this spring and hung them above my Bee Balm. No hummers all summer. I don’t know what happened. I am usually enjoying several on my front porch getting goodness from my hanging Wave Petunias, and this year, no hummers there either. Maybe the weather was not good for them? In TN we have them from end of spring to late August. So maybe we’ll see some this month? – Karen
No Red Dye !
Nice display of colors and flowers, and feeders. Nothing wrong with your feeders where you have placed them, or having them clear with no red dye.
Sugar solution can be made ahead and kept up to a week in the refrigerator.
Discard any sugar solution that has turned cloudy no matter how ‘fresh’ the solution is.
Only fill your feeders with enough sugar solution to last, at the most, two or three days. There is no sense in throwing most of the sugar water away when it goes bad before the hummingbirds drink all or most of it
It takes time so be patient and enjoy the beauty and surroundings and in time the hummingbirds will come, They are still here in Vancouver and the Fraser Valley.
Again, No Red Dye!
No testing has been done to ensure that red dye is not harmful to hummingbirds. Red dyes used are approved for human consumption.
A hummingbird regularly taking artificially dyed nectar may be ingesting the dye in concentrations that far exceed those recommended for humans.
Make sure your hummingbird feeders have red parts on them to attract the hummers. Therefore the dye is unnecessary.
Once you get hummers coming, check your feeders often. Hummingbirds seldom approach a depleted feeder. In some mysterious way, they seem to know precisely when refills have been added.
The more hummingbird feeders the merrier!
If you spend a lot of time outdoors and can remain absolutely motionless, hummers that are accustomed to your presence will feed from a dispenser you hold in your hand. But that only comes as a reward for much patience
Trust me I have had it happen on more then once. Feeders or flowers your display will attract all day long.
Hummingbirds are stay busy collecting for their young early morning to sunset. My last little visitor was at 8:30 this evening as I was enjoying a cup of green tea on my back stairs she danced from plant to plant then as quick as she appeared, her job was complete for the day only to be repeated once again tomorrow.
So keep you flowers where they are, keep the feeders fresh,clean and enough for 3 days worth and nature will come.
If your interested in knowing, I don’t have a feeder up I just let nature
share with what I have shared in return.
And that’s a wonderful thing…..
Thanks for all this wonderful advice! I’ll probably change the water out and see what happens yet again. My neighbour doesn’t get visits either… strange!
One more thing!
You mentioned changing the water out, when cleaning your feeders don’t use soap of any kind, hummingbirds hate soap. Either use bleach or vinegar in hot water as this will knock out any mildew or mold should you forget to change the water sooner then later. One they arrive they will return to the same spot year after year it’s a proven fact.
You have inspired me in so many ways.. After watching the videos and seeing so many wonderful pics. I feel like I really can do it! In a few weeks, I will share some brag pics.
Thanks so much !!
Just a quick post about the Hummingbirds. I am a licensed wildlife rehabilitator in Washington State and the Hummingbirds come really early in late March early April. It is late for them now and it is time to get ready to migrate if they haven’t left. The feeders are fine and please do not put in red food coloring as it could be potentially dangerous. Early in the spring you can up the sugar content in your mix since the birds will need the extra calories from the long flight and then slowly go to the proper ratio of sugar and water.Change the mixture twice a week in warmer weather and I recommend once a week in cooler weather. Where you have the feeders is fine and the extra flowers will just be an added bonus for the birds.Good luck. Krista
Thank-you so much for this info! Very much appreciated!
use more sugar. start with 1:1 ratio.
I love your patio office Donna! I have a home based business and this is so beautiful! I live in South FL it’s a little warm right now to be out on the patio but come October it will be perfect!
Thank you so much for sharing your gift with us!
Peace and blessings to you and your boy!
You have the right mix for the hummingbird solution. It’s weird because this year I only got one hummingbird and I usually have tons of them. They just didn’t come this year. I hope this isn’t something that’s going to last. I know our climate in Michigan this year was much cooler. It’s kind of sad but only one hummingbird has come to my feeder all year. He comes every day.
Your outdoor office is divine! I’d be out there all the time!
I had the same problem with the vintage feeder that you have pictured.Im not sure why but they use every feeder that I have but won’t touch the vintage ones.I have found that they like a bar to sit on while drinking from the feeder.I only buy those kind of feeders
now:).love love love all of your junk creations!