Lots of everything in the garden this week. Tomato explosion, all of the sunflowers blooming at once, poppies (finally!). The gourd plants (all two dozen of them) are finally setting fruit thanks to the heavy rain(s) of the last two weeks.
I intended to photograph this bouquet just after arranging it in the vase, but ended up doing so two days later, so mind the bit of pollen on the cosmos petals, yeah? If you look at the cosmos that has its petals at ninety degrees, you can see how the flower should look when it's perfect for harvesting: a flat center, unpollinated. Looking at the other cosmos in the bouquet, you'll notice that the center's edges are fluffed up. If you want a long-lasting bouquet, try to avoid those blooms in favor of flat-centered ones. That rule is a great one to follow in general for similarly shaped flowers like shasta daisies, rudbeckia, torch, and even (especially!) sunflowers.