The artichokes are blooming, and they always attract a lot of attention, from both humans and pollinators. It's impossible to take a photo of them without a bee of some sort, dusted in pollen. These neon purple blooms cause our local walkers to stop and take a second look. I love these dramatic blooms.
But they aren't the only showstoppers in the garden right now. The hollyhocks have been amazing, with bright pink and coral hues, but one just opened that takes the prize.
This is the variety 'Black Watchman,' which was also grown at Monticello. The bees like it as much as I do.
Another new plant for me is a dahlia that was an impulse purchase, because its dark foliage just called to me. It's a variety called 'Mystic Fantasy.'
I just love the color of those flowers against the nearly-black foliage.
I had another impulse purchase (sensing a theme?) and ended up bringing home some liatris for a difficult part of my garden. This prairie native loves full hot sun and can take a drier soil. The plants are rewarding me with some fabulous blooms. This is Liatris spicata.
And I know I've shown this sunflower before (Chocolate Cherry), but it's just so dark and lovely, I need to show it again. Here it is silhouetted against a clear blue sky.
And the chicory that I seeded two years ago is finally up and blooming, in a difficult strip of dry soil next to the mailbox. I love this true-blue flower, and hope it reseeds abundantly.
I'm really enjoying these flowers in my garden. I tend toward the cottage-y things normally, but these dramatic options really add some flair and attract a lot of attention. They are also bridging the gap between spring and summer annuals - I pulled out all the spring annuals a while ago, and while the summer annuals have germinated, they are nowhere near blooming yet.