Sunday, May 16, 2010

Flower of the Season - Autumn 2010

Isnt it beautiful? And very very hardy too !! This Autumn the flower of the season is the pretty 'Cosmos' flower, sometimes known as the Mexican Astor. Native to Mexico (obviously!), this pretty little plant is an annual, but oh so easy to grow from seed, or you can obtain seedlings from your local nursery.  It is known as a wildflower in it's native land, but suits the wild cottage garden look here in Australia. They will readily self seed so you can either collect the seed heads at the end of flowering and store then in a dry brown paper bag for use next year, or you can simply let the seed fall where they will and watch for new plants in the coming spring. (Here where I live, unless tended, most garden seeds will not reproduce in the wild, however you may want to be a bit more careful of 'escapee's in other parts of Australia that receive higher rainfall that the semi arid inland where I am.)

 The plant in the photographs is actually growing in quite a dry but mostly shaded part of my garden, however this is not the best spot to make the most of your cosmos.....better to be in full sun with well drained, moderately rich soil.

Cosmos is wonderful as a picked flower in cottage garden type bouquets alonside other 'wild' flowers such as Queen Annes Lace, Love in a Mist, Kiss me quick, and Cornflowers. (Arnt some of those plant names just dreamy? Whoever handed out those 'common' plant names deserves a big trophy of appreciation from romantic old me!!) I grow my cosmos to add a sunny little lift to my garden at this time of year (and in spring too), but also because I love to pick bouquets for people - an inexpensive way to show loved ones you care about them - and you simply cannot beat cosmos to add that delicate something to a solid bunch of roses or geraniums. There's nothing like a little bit of 'wild-ness' in your life now and again!

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