Monday, June 29, 2009

Crazy for cosmos

One of the best things I did was to try the Ladybird dwarf cosmos. I planted the seeds indoors in April and they are beginning to bloom and I love how dainty and pretty they are already.

The ladybird comes in creamy yellows and bright oranges - they stand only a foot tall with the ferny foliage of the regular cosmos.

I can't say enough about cosmos. The seeds are easy to start indoors, they transplant extremely well and they can take a lot of beatings from Mother Nature. We have had cold snaps, hard rain and unrelenting wind and those cosmos seedlings never flinched. I've moved them around to fill holes and they always bounce back. They are also a nice alternative to marigolds. And they look great next to purple.

I first tried the dwarf variety last year with the Sonata seed mix through Renee's Garden. I know a lot of people like cosmos but they're not crazy about their size. That's why these were so appealing to me.

The Niobe clematis has lived up to the "sleep, creep and leap" promise. After moving it three years ago to a more accommodating home on the eastside of the house, it has really taken off. Ironically, the Earnest Markham that I planted next to it never came back - neither did the Ken Donson. Hmmmmm..... clematis can be so fickle!

This was a new plant I had tried this year. The St. Johannis Anthemis is planted in full sun and is about 2 feet wide with nice airy yellow blooms. The plant tag showed orange flowers with yellow centers. These ended up to be quite different but I still like them. Not sure if they were mismarked or maybe with different soil they bloom differently? The best part of this plant - the bunnies haven't touched it ONCE!

I also wanted to try helichrysum (strawflower). At first I was disappointed that this turned out to be white but I have grown to like it. I have it next to my campunula Blue Clips and it's a striking combination. It's almost daisy-like.

Not sure if I'll post anything before the 4th - but here's hoping all of you have a safe and happy Independence Day!


Susie said...

Hey Beth, I enjoyed all your blooms. As dry as it is here I wish I had planted some of those Cosmos.

Love the strawflowers too! They are the most unusual things.

Hope your 4th is great!

My two acres said...

I learned something today! Here I thought my cosmos where stunted because of the cold! I didn't realize it when I bought them, but my cosmos look just like your pictures. I must have planted the dwarf variety! The regular-sized ones have reseeded themselves in the same bed and are coming up around the dwarfs. I was really looking for taller plants in that bed, so I'm letting the reseeders grow. Should be interesting!

Connie said...

I'm so glad you did the Cosmos from seed. They are a great care free flower! Mine self-sow which is a trait I love. If they come up where I don't want them I just move them!
I have grown Sonata for many years, because the limbs on the taller variety inevitably end up breaking or the whole plant just falls over.
Your Anthemis looks like mine, which I think is Kelway. It also self sows and spreads about for me. One can never have too much yellow in the garden!

Rosey Pollen said...

I love Cosmos too, they are great for attracting butterflies and make great cut flowers. Way to go , for starting from seeds.

Beth said...

Susie: I bought more strawflowers last night. I really like them! I'll be curious to see how long the blooms last.

Dawn: Is your dwarf variety the yellow or the pink?

Connie: I didn't realize they self-sow! Thanks for the hint on the anthemis. Mine has spread quite a bit but I'm OK with it. I have a huge area that I needed to fill and all that yellow looks good!

Rosey: Thanks for stopping by! I haven't seen any butterflies as of yet but those darn mosquitos are coming back!

Happy Fourth of July everyone!

Roses and Lilacs said...

I absolutely agree with you about the cosmos. I can't believe I never tried them until this year. The Sonata mix with pinks, and whites is wonderful plus I got a taller variety for the midsection of the garden. I had difficulty with the seeds and ended up buying them from a garden center.

Had strawflowers a couple years ago and really liked them. I brought lots inside and they held their color for a long, long time.