New and recent introductions make colourful cosmos as brilliant in the garden as it is in the vase.
For too long, annuals have been looked down upon by some gardeners as not in the same league as perennials. “Oh, it’s just an annual,” people say dismissively. Well, last summer’s display of almost 90 annual cosmos at the RHS Garden at Wisley made it clear what valuable plants they are.
There are about 30 species of cosmos, annuals and perennials, growing wild across subtropical America, and in Mexico in particular; two species extend their range into southern USA. The familiar garden cosmos, C. bipinnatus, grows naturally in rough meadows and scrub in Mexico, but has also established itself farther afield including much of southern and eastern USA as well as South Africa and Australia.
The only other cosmos species widely grown is the perennial C. sulphureus, with orange or yellow flowers, usually grown as an annual, and the popular tuberous perennial C. atrosanguineus, with its chocolate coloured and chocolate-scented daisies.
C. bipinnatus is a vigorous annual reaching from 60cm to 3m or more, with stout upright stems carrying large, attractive, fresh-green foliage repeatedly divided into thread-like segments. From midsummer into autumn, large golden centred daisies open in a wide range of pink and rich-red shades with white. Last year saw the introduction of the first effective yellow-flowered variants.
Continue reading your story on the app
Continue reading your story in the magazine
In The Kitchen
As the year draws to a close Jojo finds ways to preserve summer’s flavour through the raw months, and makes the most of a glut of grapes
Ahead Of The Curve
Crafted from the timber of 150-year-old oaks, Gaze Burvill’s furniture celebrates tradition, but it is made using cutting-edge technology
When is a vegetable garden not a vegetable garden? When it’s a potager of course. But does the distinction come down to anything more than pretension or French good taste?
12 Of Helen And Vicky's Favourite Conifers
12 Of Helen And Vicky's Favourite Conifers
Nature's Widest Canvas
At their home in Vermont, Susan and Rick Richter have collaborated with master stone worker Dan Snow to create a stunning structured landscape
The renowned Chilean landscape architect on responding to topography, his passion for evergreens, and why herbaceous perennials are overrated
As Parham House in West Sussex prepares to plants out bulbs for next spring, head gardener Tom Brown looks back at one of his favourite tulip combinations
In The Garden
Jojo takes inspiration from a long-established kitchen garden as she considers how to train fruit in her narrow back garden
After gaining several years of gardening experience in the UK, Sam is extending his horticultural knowledge with a stint at the Jerusalem Botanical Gardens.
The sheer magnitude and beauty of the daffodils in Felley Priory’s spring garden have been known to move grown men to tears.
Crossing Borders With Crypto
A Mexico-based startup says it can send remittances from the U.S. cheaper and faster
2021: A Space Reality
The Rising Battle of Conquering Consumer Space Travel
On Location in Mexico S.W.A.T.
A nameless stranger rolls into town and unexpectedly saves the day. It's easy to see how the 1985 Clint Eastwood Western Pale Rider inspired the drama's cinematic two-part premiere-even if gunslinger heroics are the last thing on Hondo's (Shemar Moore) mind when we catch up with him.
The Ticking Time Bomb Still on the Road
Millions of Takata air bags have been recalled around the world. Many remain unrepaired
When we were kids, we had a cocker spaniel aboard during summer cruises. The dog apparently had a massive bladder, but we kids were happy to row her ashore when nature called. We thought boating with a pet was terrific…but did our folks have a voice in the matter?
THE MANY BENEFITS OF EPAZOTE
A TASTY ADDITION TO YOUR MEDICAL KIT
Who Killed the Butterfly King?
A conservationist in Mexico put himself between threatened monarchs and the avocado and timber industries
MEXICO TRUCK INVASION
CULTURE-SPECIFIC CLASSICS AND CUSTOMS
‘FOREVER PURGE' GETS POLITICAL ON SOUTHERN BORDER
“The Forever Purge” is set along the U.S.-Mexican border and it’s perhaps the most overtly political of the series, portraying a ragtag group of Americans trying to flee the anarchy and white supremacy of Texas for the safety of Mexico as the annual U.S. bloodlust event turns into an everyday abomination.
How to Forget a Pandemic
As Covid-19 devastated Mexico, the government obscured the facts about cases, deaths, and vaccinations