The “wildlife garden” as I call it is in full bloom. Down in front, black-eyed susans and aesclepias (milkweed) species, to the right, a Knockout™ rose with veronicastrum, to the left, coneflowers and hydrangea.
What’s new in this photo are the phlox, the butterfly bush and the tiny little native aster (not blooming yet) coming up in front of the hydrangea. It’s all stems and leaves right now. It’s symphotrichon ericoides, or the heath aster.
Look closely! This is not a bee, but a pollinator that resembles one. It’s a fly masquerading as a bee, but a pollinator nonetheless. This is one of the syrphid flies, eristalis arbustorum.