Saturday, 5 August 2017

How to grow cosmos flowers .

How to grow cosmos flowers - Saga:
Cosmos varieties

Pink and white cosmos
Widely available varieties of Cosmos bipinnatus
‘Purity’ (100cm/39 in)
An old single white, but still effective in September light when it looks gloriously fresh.

‘Sensation Mixed’ (120cm/4ft)
A mixture of single colours in shades of pink-red through to white. It’s tall and stately so not as useful in smaller gardens.

‘Sonata Series Mixed’ ( 60cm/2ft)
A shorter cosmos, but with equally large flowers, so this is good at the front of the border, or in a container, or grow for cutting. Sarah Raven has an all-pink version ‘Sonata Pink’.

‘Sweet Sixteen’ (90cm/3ft)
This picotee-edged cosmos has pale petals edged in deep-pink and each flower has some extra petals at the heart, giving each flower a frilly look. ‘Sweet Kisses’ seems very similar.

‘Seashells’ (120cm/4ft)
This taller cosmos comes in a mixture of pinks and whites, but the petals are almost cylindrical or fluted.

‘Cupcakes’ (up to 90cm/3ft)
This is very special, with dished flowers consisting of fused petals that look like cupcake cases. The whites turn blush-pink and many of the flowers have extra petals. Bred by Thompson & Morgan.

‘Hummingbird’ (45cm/18in)
A very new Dutch-bred series with fluted petals on larger flowers. There’s a pink and a white and this is far better than ‘Seashells’.

‘Daydream’ (90cm/3ft)
A white cosmos with powder-pink centres - adored by flower arrangers.

‘Double Click’ (100cm/39in)
This Dutch-bred series was the first to contain semi-doubles and doubles and they look very aster-like. However they do get very heavy-headed in summer rain, and can flop. In good summers they add much to the vase and garden and the flowers last for a long time because thy can’t be pollinated.

‘Xanthos’ (60cm/2ft)
Soft-yellow blooms on compact plants, so perfect for the front of a border or a container. Very new and very well-thought of, this May-flowering cosmos bred in Holland has been given a Fleuroselect Gold Medal this year. You can buy seeds or plugs.

'Apollo' (60cm/2ft)
A brand new British-bred variety, these cosmos flowers come in shades of pink, white and purple.
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Tuesday, 1 August 2017

How to grow winter squash.

- How to grow winter squash - Saga:

When to pick
Harvest winter squash as late as possible and only cut once the skin has thickened and the stalk has become dry, and then store them until late November before starting to eat them.
They are tasteless if eaten fresh because they need six weeks to a couple of months to develop the nutty, sweet flavour.

‘Uchiki Kuri’
'Uchiki Kuri', also known as the Japanese Red Onion squash, is a bright orange sweet squash that I enjoy eating with my Sunday roasts.
It is probably from Hokkaido in Japan - kuri is a Japanese term for squash.
August - October, 4 months from sowing.
Harvest when the skin is hard, leaving out in the sun for 10 days to ripen further.

- A Visual Guide to Winter Squash Varieties |
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