This was my first year to grow Cosmos--and really, my first year to seriously grow flowers. I have been delighted by these cuties, as well as by how low maintenance they are. They don't require a lot of water, do better without fertilizer, and love the heat. And if I leave them to go to seed at the end of the season, they should come back next year on their own!
They started out like this:
And now they look like this:
My two flower gardens don't provide us food to eat, so they don't directly enhance our self-sufficiency, but there is something to be said for increasing the beauty in your world...