Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The Last of the Summer Flowers

Cosmos in magenta, lavender pink, and white have fine, delicate
foliage.  With good compost and fertilizer, they can grow to 6' or more.
Yellow Coreopsis can need staking when at full height (front).
Orange Butterfly Weed is very impressive but I rarely see butterflies
on it.  Blue Larkspur is an annual well worth growing.  As it blooms and goes
to seed, deadhead it and throw the spent blooms/seed heads on the ground
where you want next year's flowers. Yellow flowered Olympic Mullein
is a 6-7' tall imposing plant which draws bees constantly.  
Marigold Golden Guardian
My favorite flower, I think, is Cosmos.  They come in so many varieties, mostly pink, magenta or white (but pink is probably my favorite color); sometimes very ruffly (Psyche) or the Sensation mix which are the old fashioned flat and open flower.  The leaves are fine and delicate.  Most of the varieties that I love grow to at least 4' tall or more (I also love very tall flowers and plants), although some like the Bright Lights are only 2' or so.

Along with Cosmos are Marigolds, especially the very tall (of course) varieties with little flowers such as Golden Guardian (from Park Seeds, I think) and Seeds of Change's Francis' Choice and Red Metamorph.  The last two take a long time to germinate, it seemed, and to grow to a height where they'll bloom, but once flowered are wonderful.

I also grew green Shiso last summer because I absolutely adore the flavor of the leaves with rice and a little shoyu when eating salmon.  It took a very, very long time to germinate and grow but it was well worth it.  I ordered the seeds from Kitazawa Seed Co. in California as the previous year's plants from Seeds of Change were terrible.  (Green shiso should have intense green delicate frilly leaves and those were green on top and red on the bottom and tough; as though the purple variety got together with the green variety...)