Yesterday it rained. Again. It meant I couldn’t take the photos I wanted to for today’s post and it meant it was an ideal time to knuckle down and get those seeds ordered. I have been faffing around for weeks but now it is done. I ordered from 4 different seed companies to get all I wanted and the most complicated was getting the seeds of two cosmos I need for the two big, long beds on the edge of the veg that, this year, were home to amaranthus. I decided that what I wanted was two new and very different cosmos with ‘Xanthos’ around the edge and ‘Cupcakes’ in the centre. I have been eyeing up both for years since I first heard about them but both are widely available now.
‘Xanthos’ is too special for words! It combines the yellow colouring of the C. sulphureus types which are rather spindly, with the flower size and plant habit of their bigger brother C. bipinnatus. The result is compact plants with primrose yellow flowers, deeper in the centre. Absolutely delicious.
Not as obviously groundbreaking but actually really intriguing is ‘Cupcakes’. Available in a mix or as white (which is what I wanted) this has very odd flowers where the ‘petals’ are fused to create a ‘funnel’ or ‘saucer’. What is really peculiar about this is that, of course, the ‘petals’ on a cosmos are not petals at all but individual flowers. I can see how the fluted types are produced, as the five real petal lobes of the tiny flowers are fused into a tube. But how can the petals of all the ray florets get fused into a cup? That is truly odd. I am glad that this variety is more readily found on the web now – two years ago trying to find information on a cosmos called cupcakes was more difficult than tracking down a sickly-cake maker in outer space!
Anyway, the seeds should be on their way to me and the beds will be filled with the taller ‘Cupcakes’ and edged with ‘Xanthos’ and probably with some cannas for height in the centre.
‘Xanthos’ is available in the UK from many companies including Kings Seeds, Plants of Distinction, Mr Fothergills and Thompson & Morgan. ‘Cupcakes’ is more tricky to get and although T&M should sell it I could not find it on their website but got seeds from Plants of Distinction. They will be available in other places but these are the ones I looked at.
Macro Monday Nov 30 Solution
It was a bit of a cheat because it was a chrysanthemum I bought as a potplant. But I could not resist the strange colouring.