Making a natural prairie takes about three years and lots of time. This is year three and we're now starting to see a mature "garden". Most of the entire area was planted from seed and it just takes awhile. And, all the while there are lots of weeds to pull.
One of the showiest flowers in bloom now is a huge Palmeri Penstemon (Penstemon palmeri) This is over three-feet tall and is just blooming like like crazy. It blooms in early summer like all penstemons and is very drought tolerant. It produces 20 or so seeds at every flower and it has about 50 flowers on each stalk. The flower is very orchid like with a wonderful scent. Here's a close-up. A highly recommended semi-desert plant.
The beebalm (Monarda pectinata) is just starting to bloom. I dug this one up and true to its name, the bees really love it. It's very hardy, but doesn't spread out too fast. Also called Oregano de la Serra, it adds a nice flavor to sauces.
The poppies are just starting too. I love this simple cheerful flower. It is short bloomer, but seeds profusely. I don't have the carpet I would like yet, but that will no doubt come. These are Eschscholzia mexicana beside some Rocky Mountain penstemon.
The last picture is of the Rocky Mountain Penstemon (Penstemon strictus). These deeply blue flowers on straight and tall stalks just dominate the garden; their deep-blue screaming to out-do the sky. They too are excellent seeders and drought tolerant too.