Easy annual for late season colour
By Paul Hervey-Brookes
Grown for their showy, open cup-shaped flowers, Cosmos are the ideal annual. They are easy to grow and attract bees and butterflies to the garden. Also generously self-seeding and thriving on neglect they can grow up to 6 feet tall and although they look delicate they can tolerate dry, warm weather.
Uses of cosmos
They can be used in a variety of ways and can fill a space in the garden with a rainbow of colour. Instead of planting clematis on a wall or fence try making a small border and putting in cosmos. Suitable for container growing as well, these plants will bloom until the dreaded frosts return. Suitable for cutting when they first open these flowers will last more than a week in water.
Elegantly swaying in the breeze these delicate flowers give a beautiful mixed array in the garden.
Recycling the seeds
After the flowers have died off the dry flower heads can be removed and placed in a paper bag where the seeds can be removed and stored in a cardboard box, lined with paper towels. The seeds must be dried out for six weeks occasionally shaking the seeds around. Once this process is finished place the seeds in an envelope ready to plant in the springtime.
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