The astilbe are opening in the west porch garden. I have more down by the gazebo in a shadier area, and they aren't open yet. Hard to photograph, but I love these plumes.
Another hard plant to photograph - beard tongue. This is "Husker Red" - the stems and leaves are a gorgeous dark red and the flowers white. It's very showy. For years I had my two beard tongues right next to the false indigo. The false indigo would get huge and basically bury the beard tongue. So they never bloomed, but they never died either. Last fall I finally dug them up and moved them to a space they could call their own, and I have two very, very happy plants blooming away now!
Here is the other beard tongue - I don't remember the name, but I love these bright pink blooms. They've been like this for a week now, so I'm wondering if they open into a flower or if this is it? I'll report back.
I have gallardia planted in the lakeshore garden - but it's planted over an 18 inch thick cement pad that we buried under a foot of topsoil because we couldn't remove the pad. I have a ton of plants that are just happy as clams in this dry part of the lakeshore garden. I love the gallardia because it blooms a really long time - like from now until it freezes. However, it is right in front of my Therese Bugnet rose - and I am not happy with this yellow and orange flower in front of my lovely clear pink rose. So I'm deciding if the gallardia will have a new home next year.
Another container. I bought these great window boxes at my iron place. I have 3 of them hanging on the fence between the patio and the driveway - 2 in sun and 1 in shade. The sun ones are planted out with red geraniums, purple wave petunias, potato vine, and what Zoey at Perennial Passion told me is a fan plant - a cool vine with small white flowers. So on the Fourth of July, I will have exactly the right colors going here!!! It's pretty and showy - I love that you can see these bright geraniums as you walk down the street toward our house.