Every now and again the plant breeders come out with a plant that is so good that it stays popular for years. Stella D'oro daylily is one of those plants. It is one of the first daylilies to bloom in the summer and it blooms almost all summer long. At a tidy 2' high, it fits into any garden. Totally trouble-free - I have it in both dry and wet conditions. Super easy to divide although it doesn't have to be divided if you don't feel like it.
This is coreopsis Early Sunrise. I started it from seed last year but I have seen it sold as plants. It's planted in a dry area and seems quite happy there. The flowers are very vibrant. I think I'll grow some more next year. It's about 18" tall, so it's a relatively small plant. Not at all invasive.
The evening primrose, on the other hand, is very pushy, but I love the lemon coloured flowers. I have it planted in a dry spot with poor soil mixed in with sedum Autumn Joy, and in a situation like that it's quite controllable. I also planted some between our trees and the road where I am establishing a garden full of stalwart plants that are able to muscle out the cow parsley, thistles and any other weeds I don't want around.
This is a cousin of Stella D'Oro called Black-Eyed Stella, although it should really be orange-eyed Stella. It's just as reliable as the all yellow variety, but it grows a bit taller. For some reason, it's not as readily available but it's also a very good rebloomer that starts blooming early in the season. It's actually more orangey than the photo makes it appear.
We watched a travel show filmed in 2010 with Samantha Brown. She was travelling to different Asian countries, and I found it most encouraging to see how well Viet Nam and Cambodia are doing. The cities were much more prosperous than I would have expected and in the rural areas farming was well underway. There were, of course, areas of poverty but , as someone whose main images of those countries date back to the Viet Nam war era, I was pleasantly surprised by how well the countries devastated by that war are doing. People really are resilient.