Cosmos: A Gardentime Odyssey


“Let’s go wait out in the fields of the ones we love…” ~The National

As the flowers wind down for the year, petals shriveling, stems and leaves hunched against the chilly October mornings, the Cosmos is still radiant, shooting up new growth. Flower buds keep forming, despite the colder temperatures and shortened days.

I like that Cosmos never gives up. Once they get going, it’s on, boy, ’til the frost comes. I love the lacy texture of their leaves and their sunny dispositions. Combined with a blue October sky, they’re a sign from the universe that life can be good. The bees and butterflies love ’em too.


And I like the name. “Cosmos” from the Greek kosmos, meaning harmony or balance–We can all use a little (or a lot) of that. Some might argue that a patch of Cosmos might better represent chaos, with their gangly habits and wild growth, but if you look closely you’ll notice an even number of petals on each flower, a beautiful symmetry, and maybe even the mysteries of the universe unraveled in their faces.

This is our first time growing the tubular-petaled Cosmos bipinnatus, Seashells. It won’t be the last. We’re already plotting how to fit more into the landscape for next year.

What’s your favorite variety of Cosmos? They’re all so beautiful, its hard to choose…

About Benjamin

Gardening, Raising a Family, Hobby Photography, Reading & Philoso-phizing...not necessarily in that order.
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36 Responses to Cosmos: A Gardentime Odyssey

  1. mattb325 says:

    Like you, I love them all, especially in a shrubbery where there are other plants to support their growth…I don’t think I could ever say no to a cosmos plant!

  2. Love those Cosmos, haven’t seen that variety before.

  3. Chloris says:

    They are a winner and as you say, they go on and on flowering. I love Purity. But they are all lovely.

  4. What a lovely ode to the Cosmos. It’s such a sweet flower.

  5. Christina says:

    This has been my first year growing Cosmos; I love Purity and the dark shades oh and the pale shades. We should all grow more!

  6. Julie says:

    You have encouraged me to re think Cosmos, stooping over to deadhead with an aching back had put me off, Yours are really beautiful, I love the shape of the petals.

  7. One of my favourite flowers ..

  8. Grower says:

    Great title. I’ve never grown Cosmos but these pictures have got me thinking I should, especially the top one. Love those funky petals!

  9. bluestempond says:

    I’ve never seen anything like these! I’m going to see if I can find seeds for next year.

  10. Crooked Tracks says:

    That reminds me of the spirea we have, it keeps growing flowers even after the light frost. We don’t have any cosmos. I have not seen that variety. Beautiful.

  11. Beautiful. You know, I’ve never tried growing cosmos before, strangely enough. They grow well here though….next year for sure!

  12. Helen says:

    I didn’t know there were varities – but I will definitely consider more after having one in my garden this year. So great that they just keep going 🙂

  13. pbmgarden says:

    Cosmos are wonderful. Didn’t know about the tubular-petaled type. Nice.

  14. solarbeez says:

    We grew Antique Cosmos. Beautiful but they didn’t last past July. I’ve never heard of the tubular kind but if they last into October, we will definitely want them next year.

    • Benjamin says:

      This was our first year growing the tubular kind, so I’m not sure if their longevity is natural or due to the mild summer we had…we’re definitely planting again next year, so we’ll see what happens 😉 Cheers, Ben

  15. KerryCan says:

    This is such a nice tribute to a deserving flower! I need to make more of a commitment to bringing Cosmos to my garden!

  16. bittster says:

    Your cosmos are lucky to have you, what a nice tribute.
    I like the candystripe types, but you can never beat pure white.

    • Benjamin says:

      Thanks! I like the candystripes, too, but you’re right, there’s something so sweet about the pure white cosmos. But then, I’ve yet to meet a cosmos I didn’t like 😉 Cheers, Ben

  17. dandyknife says:

    Thanks for the close-ups. These really are as nifty as the seed catalogues state. I’ve only ever grown ‘Sensation’, the standard no-nonsense variety, but I’ll keep an eye open for a packet of ‘Seashell’.

    • Benjamin says:

      Thanks! I think we’ll be perusing the catalogues this winter for some new varieties to add to the current mix…just have to figure out where we’ll put ’em 😉 Cheers, Ben

  18. Obviously one of my favorites! They re-seed like crazy here, so long as there’s some snow cover over the winter. About 4 years ago or so we had very little snow here, and I saw only a few self-sown Cosmos come up. I’ve had bad luck with the yellow varieties. ‘Sensation Pink’ is the strongest, tallest variety I’ve grown. If you pinch them back a bit early on, yes, blooming will be a bit delayed, but you can get enormous, well branched plants with sturdy “trunks” over an inch in diameter. The deer do sometimes nibble on them, though, as do our woodchucks. You’re right, though, they just bloom and bloom–week before Halloween, and mine are still going strong. If anything, the cooler temperatures make the colors even more vibrant!

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