2016 has been officially declared as ‘The Year of the Cosmos’! Throughout 2016, we expect gardeners up and down the country to be plugging gaps in their borders, in fact planting up whole borders, with these ethereal gems! And, what better way to launch the year than with the most incredible YELLOW ‘Xanthos’! But that’s not all, indulge yourself with our blog, highlighting the cream of the crop!

Cosmos 'Xanthos' - Flower of the Year 2016

Cosmos ‘Xanthos’ – Flower of the Year 2016

Firstly, back to Cosmos ‘Xanthos’, a colour that was for many years the enigma of the plant world. An old, old variety called ‘Yellow Garden’ was haphazardly available, but it only bloomed during late September, which is no good for our often brief UK summers! ‘Xanthos’ now blooms from June all the way through, and with slightly smaller blooms than most Cosmos, but there’s more of them! The plants are so neat and branching too; in fact you can even grow them in a patio pot!

Cosmos ‘Sweet Sixteen’ is also another favourite of mine! The blooms are like a work of art; candy striped petals and an inner crest! As with most Cosmos, ‘Sweet Sixteen’ is lovely big, frothy plant, which fills a bed or border quickly and easily, and looks great even before the flowers start to open! They will also work fantastically as a cut flower too, and you’ll never see them in the florists I can assure you!

For a taste of almost every type, try the ‘All Sorts Mixed’, which brings together single, picotee, double and quilled formations, across a full colour palette too! Cosmos can be purchased either as seed or (for some varieties) as plants. Growing your own seed is easy though; you can even scatter straight outdoors where you intend them to flower, I think that’s known as ‘throw and sow’!

(L-R) Cosmos ‘Sweet Sixteen’, Cosmos ‘All Sorts Mixed’ and Cosmos 'Brightness Mixed'

(L-R) Cosmos ‘Sweet Sixteen’, Cosmos ‘All Sorts Mixed’ and Cosmos ‘Brightness Mixed’

If you want something completely different though, go for Cosmos ‘Brightness Mixed’. This is a ‘sulphureus’ type Cosmos, which has an entirely different appearance, and colour palette to the everyday Cosmos varieties! Give it a try, it makes a good alternative to Marigolds, why not ring the changes in your garden!

So, that’s just a snapshot of how we think you can use Cosmos in your own garden! I personally think that everyone will be ‘cosmossing’ in 2016, so I’d recommend that you get your seeds ordered now!

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