Cosmos or chaos

 

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cos·mos (noun)

  1. The universe regarded as an orderly,harmonious whole.
  2. An ordered, harmonious whole.
  3. Harmony and order as distinct from chaos.
  4. pl. cos·mos·es or cosmos Any of various mostly Mexican herbs of the genus Cosmos in the composite family, having radiate flower heads of variously coloured flowers and opposite pinnate leaves, especially C. bipinnatus and C. sulphureus, widely cultivated as garden annuals.

Well there wasn’t much orderly about my cosmos.

At first they behaved themselves. They germinated nicely on the windowsill, then went into the mini greenhouse. Then I planted several in two places in the raised bed. I protected both with a small plastic cloche and at first they grew about the same.

It never fails to amaze me how different a plant can grow under different conditions! Both in full sun, both in the same soil (mostly lovely rich topsoil courtesy of Raystede animal shelter where our builder had also been working).

The ones at the end of the bed grew beautifully and blossomed as expected, the white blooms making a pleasing view swaying in the wind in front of the shed. The ones in the middle just seemed to grow. And grow and grow. No buds just foliage, thick lush fronds heading out in all directions. When they got to a metre high and wide and had completely smothered the surrounding poppies, and blocked out the light from the poor daisy bush and the sweet peas, I got a bit ruthless and hacked them right back down to half their size.

They carried on growing back relentlessly, stems as thick as a small tree! And eventually they flowered too. Towering boldly above my head, blooming extravagantly, leaning over anything in their way and grinning at me. A tidy gardener wouldn’t have been able to stand it, they’d have had to get them out, but I must admit I loved their confident exuberance. Beautiful. This year there will be more cosmos, and I’d like to try some different colours, but I’ll be more careful where I put them.

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Such glorious chaos

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