Meet the Cosmos Flower. Many colors to choose from! Here in the high desert, with good soil and lots of water the Cosmos do great!! Actually, I think they would do ok if I did not water so much?
We did throw down seed in places that other plants had a hard time in. Well, lets face it we throw down the seed everywhere in 2014 just to see where it liked it the most. Since nothing else grew in a couple locations we just figured the cosmos would not grow there either, surprise!
Everyday I would go and clip off the ones that were going to seed. In this shot above you can see those going to seed. I see two species of Cosmos flowers above. No there are three species above I see.
In 2014 this was the first year for the Cosmos , and I know now where they will grow and where they like what spot the best.
I even thinned some of these out and gave them to the neighbors who are not real gardeners and were having issues of finding something that would grow at their home. The reports I got were good! Hopefully they saved some seeds for the Cosmos Flowers are annuals. They bloom, seed and that is that. They seed very well!!
Lets face it, I am a seed fanatic. I have a hard time not collecting seeds!! Most of my flowers I collect the seeds, I am now putting some food quality powder on those in paper bags drying that the grain farmers put on the grain so the bugs do not eat up my seeds. I can never remember the name of this stuff for the name is a foot long haha!!
I am a organic gardener and freezing the seed pods do not even help with those dang insects!! So I just went out and got some of that food grade powder.
I try not to over head water. Some flowers do not like this, iris, poppy for example. Guy overhead waters more then I do, and his reasoning is - to wash off the bad insects. Can not argue with that logic!
Issues I ran into with overhead watering. When the flower blooms were forming I noticed they were black. Upon further investigation, this black mass around the forming flower buds were in fact earwigs! Earwigs love moisture!!
In spring and summer here in the high desert of Oregon we have to make our own moisture. A day without watering could mean death to anything relying on water! This earwig situation problem was not completely solved however everyday, two times a day on most days I simply squeezed the tops. Not enough to hurt the forming buds just enough to kill the earwigs or at least make them fall to the ground where as most folks who keep up with my photography,twitter,blogs know the frogs help around here eating such things as earwigs!!
Of course the birds help with this insect situation, and of course other insects all these help keep the bad insect population down. I just refuse to use bought chemicals! Even being told one of these chemicals is "good", to use (any chemical that dries up a plant. That is takes the moisture out of a plant, will do that to a insect, birds,cats, people. I have photographs of some of the honey bees this stuff kills).... I dont even put down that food grade quality powder outside due to all the creatures I have here who help me keep the bad bugs in check. Examples of the bad insects is seen on the top photograph.
Each flower bloom has its own personality. I really like this for photography! Unless there is some reason to photograph spent, tired flowers, I stay away from them. Some folks have no issues with photographing such things and this is each their own situation. When photographing with natural light, off the camera morning and late afternoons are best. Though who am I kidding, I see something I photograph it haha!
I also pay attention to the background. Shade does wonders for a photograph!
Some of these Cosmos plants, more then not got oh they were over our 6' dog fence ie kennel! Some plants were so heavy they fell. No real big deal when they fell just so long as they did not take out other plants. The plants that fell were just to heavy, growing new stems up to the sunlight giving off lots more flowers! We plant thick, we plant oh some folks may call it the "natural", look. Meaning we have the iris patch,the lily patch, zinnia patch however some plants you will notice do real well next to each other. One plant may attract this kind of insect, the other plant repels such insect. Throw some seeds down near each other and walla! The flower that you want the most, plant a flower near it that you do not care so much about and the insects typically will go to that one leaving the one you want alone. This is the philosophy we go by. Knowing which flowering plant the scientists are making insecticides from can help. Though like the chrysanthemum or just mum, once these smart folks condense the properties of the plant to make their commercial , mass produced product putting it on the shelf as "all natural", is it all natural at that point??
My hands are not the biggest however some of these blooms were about as big as my hand. Which for some folks is not saying much ?
Some of the species of Cosmos did not appreciate our dry intense heat! You can see this in the shot above. The more colorful species the less heat tolerance I observed anyhoo..... all these Cosmos were in the ground. We do have some pots for some flowers do better with the root ball in a pot. For instance the Snapdragon does better in a confined space here in the High Desert. If I remember correctly we are supposed to be zone 5 for you interested. Though our area is so messed up when it comes to zones......
I can only assume the zone thing is messed up here in our area so badly is because of our canyons, mountains?? One direction we have the Cascade Mountains, look the other direction and we have the Ochoco Mountains, then canyons everywhere! Well that might be a little exaggeration..... however if you have ever been to our area you may understand what I am saying. We have a lot of canyons haha! Anyhoo as a elderly man and I were talking one day who lives down the road from us, he says his lilacs and roses have issues when ours are doing fine, or his family member lived several blocks down the road and she would get freezing temps and his place was fine. People have a tendency to stop me while I am outside caring for and photographing my flowers. When that is they see me out there haha! Some folks just do not see me and I hear lots of things hahahahaha!
Hearing folks talk who do not see me. One instance , there has been many!! A couple were talking and what they were talking about really was none of my business, no ones business!! So I casually made a couple steps and the women jumped and laughed, said I did not see you there haha!! I just smiled at them and they stopped what they were saying of course...... hopefully learning not to talk about such things in public, who knows who is hearing them talk? This town is a gossip column I swear!! I learn many things about the town (and our family that I never new we did, or whatever), this way.
The shot above if you notice is the same flower as the first shot. I am sure you noticed this. I have so many shots of the Cosmos I will stop this now and leave the other photographs for another post to ramble about haha!
Hope you enjoyed the photographs! Thank you for coming by and spending time with me in my garden!