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Behind the Bloom: Cosmos

Behind the Bloom: Cosmos

| Rosie Jeffares-Levitt
Cutting begets more cosmic beauty and there'll be plenty to go around!
I almost named my business Cosmos, after this charming daisy-like flower. I also liked the other meaning of the word: a well-ordered harmonious universe. I thought it seemed mystic, and might convey a business bigger than the one I was starting in my kitchen! In the end the beautiful graphic quality of the letter "Q" won out. And I wanted a name I could define, rather than have it define me!

But I'm still crazy for cosmos! This simple flower is part of the Asteraceae family, along with sunflowers and daisies. The beauty of these flowers lies in the evenly shaped flower heads on tall slender stems. The blooms can either be bowl-shaped and slightly curved or have a flat, open-cut shape. There are doubles, singles and a multitude of coloured varieties.

Cut cosmos have a vase life of 4-6 days. They are a "here for a good time not a long time" cut flower, but worth the trouble. They lend a wildflower look to mixed bouquets and are sought after by brides. I like to use a "seule fleur" technique to display cosmos at home. Selecting a range of tiny vases and bottles with just a bloom or two in each, the effect is romantic and elegant. Cosmos are also an edible flower. Try them in salads, drinks, or on cakes.

Best of all, cosmos are incredibly easy to grow and are prolific bloomers. If you or a neighbour have them in your garden, you should know the plants actually bloom more if you cut the flowers. That's a good reason to go wild picking in urban landscapes! If you get caught you'll have a good defence. Cutting begets more cosmic beauty and there'll be plenty to go around!

• Rosie, owner Quince Flowers

Botanical Blog

Written By: Rosie Jeffares-Levitt

A collection of blog posts written by one of Toronto's top florists. With two on-going blog series, the first about flowers called Behind The Bloom & the second about plants called Plant Life.