We need cheering up on this very rainy day in southern England and I think these Helianthus are perfect candidates for the job. They're the perennial version of the usual annual sunflowers we grow and bear the name Helianthus decapetalus 'Monarch' - golden sunshine in anyone's book. These have started flowering in my garden only this week, thus marking the transition from the mauves and blues of my early summer garden into the golden and fiery reds of late summer/early autumn. Whilst they grow to around 3-4 foot high in my garden, they're perfectly well behaved, don't need any staking and are very easy to look after. They're also attractive to insects, especially bees. They just thread themselves through the back of my lower terrace bed and look good whatever the weather.
Do pop over to Mrs Nesbitt's Place for more ABC pictures to cheer you up.