How about some sizzle in the May garden?
Cleome serrulata, Rocky Mountain bee plant. Castilleja chromosa, Indian Paintbrush. Penstemon eatonii, Firecracker Penstemon. Sphaeralcea coccinea, Common Globemallow.
The key to growing all of these pretties is to put them in dry, poor soil. Transplant and sow seeds in the fall for good displays. Castilleja needs a host plant like Penstemon to grow. These are all best growing in masses, so plant no fewer than 6 of each (really, it should be more like 16 for everything but the Globemallow). I find companion plants in blue, various shades of pink, and white help incorporate them into the rest of the early summer garden.
What’s your favorite?