We grow flowers in a relatively small amount of space. I am always trying to make the most of it by succession planting. This means as soon as one flower is done blooming, it's replaced by another one so you get more than one crop in the same space. Over the years, more and more real estate has been taken up by Fancy daffodil bulbs. They are so gorgeous in the spring that I can't resist adding more each year. They also multiply on their own so I have some large beds that are dedicated to bulbs. To make the most of this space I do something called "overcropping." I literally plant seeds right over the top of the bulbs! As the foliage from my fancy daffodils is fading, baby cosmos seedlings are starting to sprout!
Cosmos are the happiest, airyest flower that brings so much joy and movement in the garden. Below I'm going to highlight my Top 5 favorite varieties to grow:
Rubenza- This is a new one for me this year, it starts out cranberry then fades to dusty tones. There is nothing like a flower that gets even more beautiful while it fades. It's a must grow for me.
Cupcake Cosmos- These little cuties have fused petals that give them the ridged appeanance of a cupcake. They look so unique and people are always inquiring "what is that flower????"
Apricotta- This beauty has so many shades and tones of pink in it. It fades from dusty rose to terracotta and it's slender petals make it move freely in an arrangement or your garden. Love it.
Versailles Mix- I love the shape of these. They have a clean, crisp edge and come in shades from Deep Pink
to white. They tend to be the last to flower for me so they're and end of season treat!
Double Click Cranberry- These fluffy and prolific cosmos feel like the beginning of Fall to me. Their rich color and fluffiness just feels cozy.
How to Grow
Cosmos are wonderful, not too fussy flowers. They prefer to be direct seeded and don't like too much fertilizer. If they are overly babied they won't put out flowers, just green foliage. Their shallow roots make them ideal for planting over bulbs.
I direct seed mine in early to mid May for flowers starting late July, early August. They really love the light and temps of late Summer and look their best in September.
The plants get quite large, some of my cosmos are over 4 feet tall! If you cut them they will branch and just keep producing until frost! For the longest vase life pick them when they are just cracking open from the bud, before the bees have a chance to pollinate them. If you get them after they've been pollinated they have a very short vase life because they're ready to produce seeds! If you're leaving them in your garden, just dead-head the spent flowers to encourage more. Cosmos readily self-seed so if you let them die back in your garden, look out for the babies next spring! They are truly resilient and once you get them going in your garden, their happy faces will show up for years to come!