Wildflowers and Annuals

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".

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Rudbeckia is quite common in my yard, but the "regular" kind, like this:


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.

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