I love cosmos,
possibly because I had a huge success with them one year when I planted them in a pile of well rotted manure. They were huge and so vigorous they were a spectacular sight. That was twenty years ago in SW France where they seemed to thrive in the warmth. I have not managed to repeat quite the same success – but I can’t imagine summer without them. Cosmos were first introduced from Mexico in about 1800, their big, bright, daisy-like flowers can be grown in borders, for cutting and, the shorter ones, in containers. They are reliably colourful and they’re so easy to grow. Almost all the cosmos we grow derive from just three species: Cosmos bipinnatus, C. sulphureus and C. atrosanguineus.
You can save lots of money and have a much wider choice of looks if you plant them yourself from seed. April is the time to start them off under cover – you will not regret the effort – keep them fairly cool so they don’t bolt beore you plant them out when the risk of frost is over. My reliable source of seeds is the Sarah Raven catalogue, and there’s Crocus of course, but they are pretty easy to source –