This rudbeckia (I believe) is called 'Cappuccino'. Perfect for starting off a post on a rainy morning! I planted it from seed.
Sunflowers are always an easy way to brighten up the garden. They add a height element that can attract the eyes as well as the bees!
Zinnias are simply an awesome summer flower. Easy to grow! So what if zinnias get powdery mildew, just space them out well and enjoy the beauty they add to the garden. Zinnias are great for cut flowers and grow really well from seed planted after the frost. You can also save the seeds and replant each year which saves you a little bit of money while making your garden more impressive each year!
Two of my favorite plants are in this picture: 'Powis Castle' artemisia and a salvia. I think this is 'Mystic Spires' salvia in the picture. It didn't return but other salvias that do return reliably can provide a similar effect.
'Jethro Tull' is another one that is fits into the in-between category like the 'Mystic Spires' salvia. It's a beautiful coreopsis but it just didn't want an encore in my garden. Sometimes that's how it goes with plants. Their presence in the garden can be fleeting depending on the weather and growing conditions.
On these drab winter days it's fun to take a look back and remind yourself of what the garden looks like in the summer. It's easy to forget that while Tennessee summers mean flowers, it also means 90-100 degree temperatures and high humidity!