Right now it's the off season across the continent for hummingbirds, but there is no time like the present to start thinking about the next season. There are a lot of things to consider when building a garden for hummingbirds.
First of all which flowers are preferred in both annuals and perennials, especially in your climate? Should you have feeders, and how many should you have out? How about water features, or other attractions to bring them in your garden and to keep them around for long periods of time.
Well, I'll tell you that the more feeders you have, the more likely hummingbirds will show up and return over and again. They are opportunistic, and if they know there are multiple choices within a localized area, I will guarantee you that once you attract them, they'll not forget your garden.
Consider your hummingbird garden like a playground for kids. The more attractants the better it is. Don't think that having one pot of flowers will keep them returning, because often times it's not worth the energy consumed to fly to your garden for a limited supply. Multiple pots of flowers(favorites), and many feeders(spread out and not all in one tight congested area), and some other features. Depending on the region, female hummingbirds may have a tough time finding nest building material, so give them a source from your garden. Raw cotton is a brilliant, natural material that hummingbirds and many songbirds love to use for partial or complete construction of their nests.
Water features are a must! Birds will spot a puddle, a spritz, a lawn sprinkler, flowing water, still water, or simply put, ANY water. It's a necessity of life! Whether you buy or make your own water supply, just realize that it's a necessary part of any hummingbird garden.
In addition to items listed, add a few other features like hummingbird swings. You can place them near fountains, feeders or flowers that they frequent. They will make use of them, but try to source out some of the more attractive ones with red beads to seriously draw their attention.
Hummingbirds are really drawn to the color red, or colors very similar in the spectrum, like orange or fuchsia. So if you're looking for attractants, search those closest to these colors. It could be that the color red is most often seen on feeders, so they are triggered by that color, but red works, so use it! In a blog really soon I'll cover flowers and the types that work best, but until then start thinking about hummingbird gardens and how you can build yours. It's only 3 months until they start their northern journey, and by then you can have a plan set out for how you can draw more in and keep them around your garden.