Friday, August 12, 2011

dark fridays - cosmos 'chocolate'

Happy Friday everyone.  Vanessa here... and I have a deep dark confession today.  I'm a landscape designer, but I never really liked "flowers." 

I know, I know... how can I design gardens and have a flower shop and not like flowers?!  Well before I get tarred and petaled, let me explain that when I said that, I meant that I don't like landscapes that depend on flowers.  A flowery rose garden with annuals upon annuals is just not my cup of tea.  I typically leave that type of planting to pots which can be changed out seasonally.  I prefer a garden full of colorful and interesting foliage.  Something structured that is going to provide year long interest.  I love playing with texture and I feel that is best expressed through shrubs, leafy perennials, and succulents!  Flowers can then be an accent, an almost seasonal surprise that can come and go but the garden is not dependent on them...
I have to say that since Stephanie has started the floral design arm of Foundation design, I have warmed up to all kinds of flowers and I definitely use them more in our garden designs as well.  I have a select palate of what I consider flowery perennials and one of my favorites is the Chocolate Cosmos (you had me at "chocolate"... ).

Chocolate Cosmos is an excellent garden perennial blooming in the late summer and fall (right now) with deep reddish brown 2-inch wide flowers.  It looks great in a wild garden such as this one below.  The best part?  The flowers even have a perfume of chocolate or vanilla!  Love at first sniff.

Stephanie uses Chocolate Cosmos in many of her Flower arrangements when she needs a little dark kick or contrast.  Gorgeous right?

Latin Name: Cosmos astrosanguineus
Common Name: "Chocolate Cosmos"

Category:  Perennial in Milder Climates, Annual in Cold
Zones:  4-9, 14-24 for info on climate zones go here 
Exposure: Cool sun
Water: moderate water needs
Size: 2-2 1/2' tall, 1 1/2' wide
Flower: Burgundy Late Summer-Early Fall Bloom
Growth: Perennial from tuberous roots, self sows freely

Specs from Sunset Western Garden Book

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