Posts Tagged ‘cosmos’

Cosmos time – yes, really!

June 14th, 2019 | Plant Talk with Graham Rice | 0 Comments

Cosmos 'Xanthos' and 'Sea Shells'

Well, it’s been raining hasn’t it… The problem is that everything is now growing like mad and spilling out into the spaces I’d set aside to sow cosmos.

Yes, I know. Cosmos are half hardy annuals and they’re often sown under cover in April. But both shorter varieties like ‘Xanthos’ (above left) and taller ones such as ‘Sea Shells’ (above right) do really well sown outside in June, sown outside where they’re going to flower.

The seeds are long and slender and easy to handle, the soil is moist, so all you need to do is draw a drill (a shallow furrow) in the soil with the point of a stick – or even your finger. About half an inch deep is fine and then you can place the seeds an inch apart and then just knock the soil in from the edges to cover the seeds and pat it all down with your hand.

Put a label in at the end of the row and another label or a piece of stick in at the other end, to mark the row and ensure that you don’t sow something else in the same space! The seeds will soon be up, they’ll grow strongly and you can thin them out, in stages, till they’re 15-20cm apart.

The problem is all those floppy plants that the rain has beaten down – in spite of the fact that you supported them (or perhaps because you didn’t!).

Well, they can be rescued, propped up, and space for those cosmos revealed. If you’re fortunate enough to have some flat sprays of hazel twigs, these are ideal for gently raising shoots back into position. But the simple device of two short bamboo canes with a length of string run between can also lift leaning stems back close to vertical. And snipping off any wayward shoots won’t do the plants any harm.

So, wait for a break in the rain, heave those floppy plants out of the way and get some cosmos seed in.

Celebrate Year of the Cosmos in 2016 with Mr Fothergill’s

February 4th, 2016 | News, The flower garden | 0 Comments

Cosmos Xanthos from Mr Fothergill's

The often tall annual flower Cosmos has become increasingly popular with Britain’s gardeners in recent years – a fact reflected in 2016 being declared ‘Year of the Cosmos’ by Fleuroselect, the organisation which trials and assesses new seed varieties from around the world to determine their suitability for European conditions.

Cosmos Tetra Versailles Dark Rose from Mr Fothergill's

Mr Fothergill’s is celebrating the initiative with the launch of a host of new varieties, and a special display unit highlighting 15 varieties in many garden centres and other retailers throughout the country.

Other new cosmos being introduced by Mr Fothergill’s for 2016 are Xanthos (pictured above), Tetra Versailles Dark Rose (pictured here to the right) and Tetra Versailles Flush. Xanthos (£2.15 for seed for 20 plants) is the very first yellow-flowered Cosmos bipinnatus, with large, long-lasting soft yellow blooms, while Tetra Versailles Dark Rose and Flush (both £2.15 for seed for 60 plants) bear huge blooms which look spectacular in borders and make impressive cut flowers. Most cosmos do well even in poor soils and in dry summers. The flowering season can be extended by the regular removal of spent blooms.

Mr Fothergill’s seeds are available from garden centres and many other retailers across the UK as well as via the Cosmos seeds section on the Mr Fothergill’s website.