In recent years we’ve seen some exciting new annual cosmos arrive on the market. The Cupcakes Series, bred by Thompson & Morgan, have the petals joined together to form an elegant bowl, the white is especially lovely. T&M also introduced ‘Lemonade’ (‘Xanthos’ is similar), with soft lemon yellow flowers on short plants – a dramatic contrast to previous yellow flowered cosmos that were enormously tall and very late flowering.
But now T&M bring us ‘Apricot Lemonade’. I’ve had it on trial this year: it has the same neat and bushy habit, and early flowering, as ‘Lemonade’, the plants have made about 50cm and they’ve bushed out well. The flowers are almost primrose yellow with a hazy apricot pink band around the yellow eye. The colour varies a little, some are a more peachy yellow than others, but none are so different that they don’t fit in.
“Cosmos are proving to be one of the most popular annual flowers in our range at the moment,” Peter Freeman, New Product Development Manager at T&M told me reccently. “Sales of our long standing varieties are strong, sales of recent T&M introductions such as 'Lemonade' & ‘Apricot Lemonade’ are extremely good. However, the most popular range by far are our unique cosmos 'Cupcakes' varieties.
“We still have two more great new exciting varieties of cosmos that are coming through the system,” he said. “Seed is being bulked up and we should be able to make an official announcement very soon.”
I sowed batches of four seeds of 'Apricot Lemonade' in 7cm pots on the windowsill in April, moved them into a sheltered spot outside when they came through and then planted out the potfuls, without breaking them up, at the end of May. Delightful.
You can order seed of Cosmos bipinnatus ‘Apricot Lemonade’ from Thompson & Morgan.
*Please note, the contents of this blog reflect the views of its author, which are not necessarily those of the RHS.