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Plants for gardens
There are really many plants that you can grow in your backyard. To make an informed choice it is good to take into consideration some important factors such as the climatic conditions of the area where you live, the exposure, the type of land you have and your needs. Fruit plants, flowering plants, aromatic, perfumed, climbing, evergreen, perennial or annual plants: there are varieties for every need! You can choose between lavender and rosemary aromatic plants very appreciated and cultivated; if you love colors, rhododendron, azalea, heather and tulips can be a good choice; to have a living garden that is always green throughout the year, the oleander, ferns, ivy and many other species could be the most suitable varieties for you!
Among the plants that are best suited to living in the garden we find the cosmea. It is a spontaneous species belonging to the Compositae family and native to Central America (precisely from Mexico and Bolivia). It was introduced in Europe at the end of the eighteenth century and is available in different varieties, in a wide range of very delicate colors and shades. The cosmea has an erect stem about one meter high, with single flower heads and with leaves divided into seven sections. The plant is characterized by an abundant and prolonged summer flowering. Cress instead belongs to the Cruciferae family and its common name is "water cress". It is a perennial plant also called roripa officinalis which prefers stagnant waters and arises spontaneously in Italy. Its flowers and leaves are used for medicinal purposes. Watercress has an angular herbaceous stem that forms large tufts on which small and elegant white flowers stand out, while the leaves are oval and have a strong and spicy taste. Watercress has some remarkable depurative, diuretic, refreshing and digestive qualities. The flowers and leaves that are harvested in the spring are used fresh. It is a product very rich in vitamins and mineral salts and must be consumed raw because during cooking it loses many of its properties.
The cosmea is sown under glass in February and already in the month of May it can be transplanted outdoors; it requires a fertile soil mixed with sand and prefers a constant exposure to the sun, but it flourishes well even in flower beds in dim light. Once they reach the height of thirty centimeters, the seedlings should be cited so that they acquire the characteristic bush shape. As long as it becomes adult and becomes stronger, it is advisable to help it support itself with wooden sticks or a wire mesh. In mild and temperate climates, sowing can be anticipated in March directly into the ground. The waterings must be rather abundant and frequent. However, there is a type of cosmea of different morphological composition; it is the cosmos diversifolius which is native to Mexico. The main characteristic is (being a tuberous plant) that is cultivated as a dahlia or through the burial of tubers in March at a depth of ten or twelve centimeters, for which it requires a particularly fertile soil, of medium texture and a rich exposure solar. The winter preservation of the tubers that with the advent of the first autumn frosts must be removed from the ground must be kept in a closed place but rather ventilated to be then, transplanted into full earth the following spring.
Every month the cosmea requires a good weeding of the soil and relative fertilization. When the plants are in bloom it is necessary to have the shrewdness to cut the flowers that wither to favor the re-flowering. The flowers of the cosmea lend themselves very well to being cut and kept in a vase. To make them last long, it is advisable to pick them up when they are still closed. Among the various species we find the cosmea bipinnata, the highest annual species that generally exceeds one meter in height. From it derive the varieties on the market that can have pink, white and purple flowers with a characteristic central floret called by collar growers. The sulphureous cosmea, on the other hand, is characteristic for its yellow or orange flowers and also reaches a height of about one meter with a rather thick outline of leaves and flowers from June to October. finally it is to be underlined that the cosmea is very delicate and sensitive when it is grown in the open ground, in fact a violent storm or a strong wind is enough to ruin it irreparably especially when it is in the phase of full development and has reached a considerable height; it is therefore advisable to choose a less ventilated and less risky area before implantation.
Garden plants: Cress cultivation
Among garden plants we also find watercress. This annual plant blooms at the end of spring; its small white flowers are cross-shaped, small, with four petals collected in growing and erect racemes. For its cultivation it is necessary to place it in running water, where the best results are obtained. Since this is not always possible, as in a garden there is no water that flows slowly, such as waterfalls or small fountains with an overflow, it can be cultivated in very damp soils by tracing furrows in it and working it well in depth, fertilizing it at the same time and trying to always keep it flooded. In August we must eliminate the flowering stems and in autumn we can start collecting the leaves. It continues throughout the winter, and in the spring young shoots are used for a new plantation. Another very particular species of watercress is the nasturtium asperum which produces beautiful yellow flowers with the same morphological characteristics as the others; the stem is long-limbed with vertical lines on which clumps of leaves develop which produce yellow flowers, thus obtaining a pyramid effect of particular chromatic contrast and above all ornamental.