Sunday, May 31, 2009

Cosmic Cosmos

Years ago, when I lived in the country, in a small log cabin, I was given a package of mixed wildflower seeds. This was the start of my love of gardening.

Amongst the many beautiful flowers that grew from those seeds, all in a tangle of erratic brilliant colours, one in particular caught my fancy - the cosmos*. When fall came, just before the first frost, I collected, segregated, and dried the seeds from my wildflower bed.

Come spring, I purposefully planted all the seeds of my favoured flower, the cosmos, at the entrance to my cabin to create a wide frenzied patch of soft varied pinks and deep brilliant magenta. They flowered from early spring until late fall. They were stunning and they were admired by all who visited.

One day when Papa was over, he stood in front of the flowers staring at them for a while before commenting, "Did you know that those were your grandmother's favourite flower?" I had not known that.

Years later when I traveled to the small island that my paternal ancestors had first settled on and cleared for farming, I was pleasantly surprised to find that everywhere I walked cosmos grew in abundance. They bordered yards and driveways, were interspersed into tamed gardens, and were scattered wildly in fields.

Then, not so long ago when I lived in the suburbs, a dear friend painted cosmos on a watering can for me (see picture). Needless to say, I was thrilled. I had never told her about my love of cosmos. Amongst the dozens of varieties of flowers in my garden, she had picked the cosmos to paint because she felt they reminded her of me.

It has been a while since I grew comsos, but yesterday I planted eighteen cosmos plants in my garden. I can't wait until fall to collect the seeds, so that next spring I can grow a huge crazy patch of them.

*"The word Cosmos is derived from the Greek, which means a balanced universe."