I am an avid (addicted) gardener who lives in zone 8b/9. I got the gardening bug when I bought my house in 2005. There were just a few azaleas growing onto the house and not much else. Starting with a blank slate, I planted my first bed in the spring of 2006 and that's all I needed to begin a marathon of bed building throughout my yard. My goal is to create a "park-like" atmosphere - a place to escape and appreciate all that a garden offers. I'm looking to create some type of diary on the progression of my garden and share my gardening experiences. The good, the bad and the ugly!

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The Plant That Keeps On Giving
by Jason Redmon - posted 04/05/11

I love Orange Cosmos (Cosmos sulphureus).  I planted some in my "island bed" a few years ago and have been greatly rewarded.  Orange Cosmos is an annual.  It grows quickly and blooms heavily.  I let mine re-seed and have many generations appear until the frost and then have them return in the spring to give another long season of bloom.

That being said, they can be considered by some people a pest, because they can grow anywhere.  Last year I had one growing through the gravel on the edge of my driveway.  This year they are growing through the strip of grass along the road.  I wouldn't call them a nuisance but if you have a strict and orderly flower bed, they wouldn't work for you.  I personally have a philosophy when it comes to the "island bed" in my front yard, which is let it be.  I give it a start and direction but let nature take control.  I am always surprised at what happens and am the most rewarded by this bed.  In blooms and satisfaction.  Maybe it's because I don't fight with Mother Nature but enjoy the ride with her instead. 

Orange Cosmos have a lacy leaf and cute little orange blooms.  They bloom prolifically, re-seed, die and another generation quickly takes their place.

Here you can see their leafy leaves growing through the St Augustine grass.  Wow!  I've held off on mowing this spot, just to see what happens.

This picture shows you that Cosmos aren't the only hardy guys.  This is a Viola blooming in that same patch of Cosmos in the grass.  The Viola's re-seeded during their stay this winter and one decided its home would be just fine here.  cheeky

Last spring a seedling sprouted in my driveway and landed in the perfect spot. The Cosmos, missed by cars turning in and out and I making a point to let it be, as well as its determination,  bloomed non-stop for months.  We should take note from that Orange Cosmos...for all the tough things in life that happen we can still persevere.

This picture is of my "island bed" last summer.  You can see all of the Orange Cosmos popping up and making its presence.  I let things just happen in this bed.  The insistence of life by these plants is awe inspiring.  With a little direction and guidance I and passers by are greatly rewarded.

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