Sometimes temptation is just too much first thing in the morning at work. I photographed this Cosmos in the cut flower border at Polesden Lacey at breakfast time. Not only does it have a stunning deep chocolaty colour, but also an incredibly rich chocolate aroma. The whole of the cut flower garden is lightly fragranced with chocolate, as it wafts around on the balmy warm august air.
The chocolate cosmos have been planted next to a deeply-coloured orange marigold called ‘Indian Prince’. The colour combination is perfect. Chocolate and orange goes so well together. Now all I can think about is popping up to the Polesden Lacey shop at tea break for an amazing chocolate orange bar! Perfect start to a day's gardening.
Its botanical name is Cosmos atrosanguineus – the latin interpretation means dark, blood stained…I think chocolate-coloured is a much more pleasant description. The plants can be slightly tender. If you live in a frost pocket cut the foliage back in October, dig up the tubers and store them in potting compost or sand in the shed until planting them out in May the following year.