Monday, October 18, 2010

More Flowers - Cockscomb Celosia

When I visit the Franklin County Fair every August, I always look for one particular bouquet of flowers. Someone always enters bright red stunning "Cockscomb Celosia." I just love the fuzziness and texture of the blooms and the undulation and convoluted nature of the flower petals. I used to have a rooster with a "rosecomb" whose "cocks' comb" looked just like this flower. None of the roosters I have now have a rosecomb - otherwise, I would be able to share a photo.

I have tried for many years to grow these flowers so that I can have bouquets of them in my house at the end of the growing season. I have always failed. I think I have planted the wrong variety, or maybe they haven't had enough fertilizer, or need staking, or ..... on and on and on. I never have written down the name of that gardener who is the blue prize winner of those celosia. Maybe one day I will and ask for their secrets. Does anyone out there have good success with these?

This year I tried again. I bought two kinds of plants up at Walker Farm in Dummerston, VT - one a Bombay Mixed color selection and the second something called Cramer's Burgundy. Once again, I was disappointed with the Bombay variety. They failed me. Every year, they send out one big bloom and after I pick it, nothing else happens. But the Cramer's variety did just fine. I wouldn't win any entries in the county fair but I did get quite a few vase loads of flowers out of the six plants I bought.

The first flower was always the largest and after that was picked, the plants sent up a bunch more smaller blossoms. Sadly, they are pretty much over now. In the photo below, you can see how their color has changed and the plants are looking rather tired. I will plant them again next year and see if I can give them a little more space and manure.

They looked great mixed with the end of the summer zinnias.

I'm just crazy over the texture and the crazy folds. I think they remind me of velvet fabric, wool, and gathered ruffles on the shirts I used to make and wear.

Maybe next year, I'll find some other Cramer's colors and give them a go too!


Kieren said...

you might want to take a look at my blog today,I was inspired by your gorgeous photos!

Deborah said...

So lovely! My mother used to have a flower garden and she had flowers to dry and I remember the cockscomb. Looks lush! I love the color you planted!

Auntie Shan said...

I've always thought that those flowers reminded me of "live" BRAIN CORAL. Which, are pretty cool looking too!

Lyn said...

Wow what zinggy colours!

Suzanne said...

Gorgeous flowers. The colors just pop on my monitor.

Turtle said...

gorgeous! Miss my grams flowers. This last summer my neighbors even suffered. lol, the squirrels always eat my bulbs...

MelD said...

Yep, I call them "brain flowers"... never quite sure which side I come down on, fascination or revulsion!! :o