Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Playing Favorites #1: Cosmos bipinnatus and the American Goldfinch

Parents may be obligated to say that they love all their children equally, but gardeners are allowed to play favorites.

So I'm starting what I hope will become a semi-regular series of posts about some of my favorite plants. Today's featured plant is Cosmos bipinnatus. This self-sowing annual thrives amid heat, drought and poor clay soil. The finely-cut leaves seem untroubled by pests or diseases.

In my garden, cosmos is one of the bees' favorite flowers. Sometimes, at the end of the day or first thing in the morning, I'll even find a tuckered out bee asleep in a cosmos flower.

When the seeds mature, the bright and beautiful American Goldfinches come flying to enjoy the feast.

Sow cosmos seeds in full sun and enjoy non-stop flowers right through the summer and fall up until frost. The blooms make nice cut flowers and the more you snip, the more the plant produces.

Here are some scenes of Cosmos on a June evening in Tennessee: