My Cosmos Skyscraper - photoshopped, see original below
I believe that Mother Nature is the best gardener and usually does fine on her own with a little occasional help from me. ( Ok, so I admit, I am a lazy gardener )
Given my non-intensive gardening intentions, I carefully selected hardy plants that flower, look good, propagate themselves and need little or no care (No care is preferred). I have in due course obtained from various sources around 20+ different plants (flowering and non-flowering)
Yellow Cosmos, one early morning
I am starting what I like to call the Lazy gardener series. Every post will feature a plant I have in the garden, and info I have on it collated from various sources with citations. In this feature, the Cosmos flower.
No doubt among the most cheerful flowers in our garden. I have 2 colors (yellow and orange) I began with 4 seeds from my Mom. I now have a small cosmos jungle ( self propagation - o joy! )
Some things you may not know about the Cosmos :
Scientific name: Cosmos sulphureus
Cosmos are native to Central America and Mexico.
They have brightly colored single or double flowers. Colours include white, pink, orange, yellow and scarlet.
So, they look good, but can you eat them? Yes! In Malay cuisine the leaves of this plant are used for ulam, a type of Malay salad.
Cosmos plants prefer full sun to partial shade. They will do well in both average and poor soils. They are tolerant to dry soil conditions.
They grow quickly to a height of 4-5 feet - the tallest among mine are just about a foot high.Taller plants may require staking. (this means they need support) Insects and disease problems are very rare for Cosmos - I can vouch for that!
They have long slender seeds about 1.5 cm long. They spring up rather rapidly and while they are small seedlings, look very similar to marigold plants.
Uncontrolled growth can lead to this :)
For various varieties: http://www.eseeds.com/search.aspx?SearchTerm=cosmos
While I had tried several times to photograph my plants, I usually was met with little (read no) success. I often gave up with a "No camera can capture the true beauty of my garden".
Until recently, I did a little reading up on flower photography and decided to try some simple steps. These yielded the photos seen here.
In particular I liked Marion Owen's tips : http://www.plantea.com/photoflowers.htm