My wildflower and annuals bed is really starting to impress! Although currently the cleome makes up the majority of the blooms, this is the real star for me so far:
That's rudbeckia hirta 'Prairie Sun', and it's like a shot of sunlight right into your eyeballs! It's quite a stunning plant for a "boring old black-eyed Susan".
Beautiful enough, but 'Prairie Sun' is such a nice variety. Of course it doesn't have the black center, but it really does glow!
Sometimes I get blooms that have cool striped centers:
I can't remember if that coloration remains, or if it's temporary and will eventually turn "black" (brown really). I think it's temporary, but it's cool while it lasts!
So here's the bed I'm talking about today:
As I've hinted, it's a mix of wildflowers and annuals mostly, although there are some perennial Agastache in there, as well as some chicory (which have managed to put out a few flowers, despite the deer chomping them almost to the ground), and a purple fountain grass (which is an annual in my climate).
As I said, the cleome is really dominating right now:
But they're a beautiful flower that bees and hummingbirds (sometimes) enjoy, and that's the point of this bed.
There's also some "catchfly" or Silene armeria:
as well as some bachelor buttons (aka "cornflower"):
There are also several types of plains coreopsis, such as this "dwarf red":
plus this regular "yellow with red center" type of plains coreopsis, although this one does seem to have a larger red center:
Usually the yellow is more prevalent, and the red area is reduced.
I should point out that almost every plant here reseeded from last year -- I didn't have to plant any of them (except the grass and Agastache). I'm pretty pleased with the way this is looking right now, as a few months ago it looked like it was going to be as much weeds as flowers:
Maybe it was my persistence in pulling the violets (although there are still quite a few -- I pulled more today), or maybe these plants just have the vigor to overpower most weeds. Whatever the reason, I'm really glad I put this bed in last year!
The butterflies, bees, moths, hoverflies, and other pollinators are really glad too.