How to grow Chocolate Cosmos

Written by Linda Paquette

Continued from page 1

A native of Mexico, this half-hardy perennial is a sun loving plant that is moderately drought tolerant.

You’ll most easily grow chocolate cosmos from transplants purchased at your local garden center or nursery. Large clumps of established plants can also be divided to provide as many as three or four transplants.

Plant chocolate cosmos in organically rich, well-drained soil in a location that gets full sun. Keeprepparttar transplants moist until they established roots and you seerepparttar 113291 beginnings of some new growth.

Inrepparttar 113292 fall, when foliage dies back, cut plants back to about two inches fromrepparttar 113293 root and over-winter them in a frost-free area. Chocolate cosmos is hardy in zones 7-10. In these zones, you may opt to coverrepparttar 113294 plants with a cloche to protect them from danger of frost.

Linda is the leading author of: Gardening Guides Hundreds of Free Articles on Flower Gardening, Fruit Vegetable and Container Gardening plus tips on Garden Design

The Sundial - Garden Ornament or Exotic Timepiece?

Written by Graham McClung

Continued from page 1

Sundial Accuracy

A properly designed and installed sundial can be a very accurate means of tellingrepparttar time, down to intervals of less than a minute.

I won't go intorepparttar 113290 mathematics, but on a sundial 16 inches (40cm) in diameter,repparttar 113291 shadow ofrepparttar 113292 gnomon will move about 1/30th of an inch, or just under 1mm, in a minute. This may be small, it's enough for our eyes to see.

Two Major Problems

Apart fromrepparttar 113293 frequent absence of sunlight (Problem 1), all sundials show time by cakibrating outwards fromrepparttar 113294 position ofrepparttar 113295 sun at noon, and if you live east or west of me, your noon is different to mine.

Althoughrepparttar 113296 earth moves aroundrepparttar 113297 sun, we see itrepparttar 113298 other way. The sun appears to move from east to west acrossrepparttar 113299 sky, and local noon is when it's vertically overhead. But if you live 100 miles west of me, my noon is still your late morning, and your noon is my early afternoon. This would be inconvenient if we used our sundials to arrange a lunch date, but a real problem if I had a plane to catch in another city.

Solar Time and Official Time

People managed to live with this problem until communications and transport became faster. Imagine calculating train timetables when Boston, New York and Buffalo all worked on different local times.

The answer wasrepparttar 113300 development of local time zones. US Railways did this in 1883, but in 1914repparttar 113301 world's governments agreed to dividerepparttar 113302 globe into 24 zones, each 15 degrees of longitude in width, and each one hour different in time to its neighbours. Boundaries were altered slightly to account for state and national borders.

There are four time zones inrepparttar 113303 contiguous 48 states ofrepparttar 113304 USA: Eastern, centred on 75 degrees W longitude; Central, on 90 degrees; Mountain, on 105 degrees; and Pacific, on 120 degrees. Noon was identified astronomically for each of these meridians (now it's done by atomic clocks), and accepted everywhere else inrepparttar 113305 zone.

Noon on sundials in places very close to these longitudes will correspond to official noon. For every degree east or west ofrepparttar 113306 central meridian, for 7.5 degrees either side, you will need to add or subtract four minutes respectively to correct your sundial.

A few other adjustments are necessary to compensate for irregularities inrepparttar 113307 earth's path aroundrepparttar 113308 sun - not too difficult to make butrepparttar 113309 theory is beyond this article.

They add torepparttar 113310 inconvenience, and that's why sundials have been superceded by more convenient and reliable forms of time keeping. But problems with time zones and orbital paths can be corrected, and there's no reason why you can't find repparttar 113311 correct time from your sundial.

No reason, that is, provided it has been properly installed in your garden. And that'srepparttar 113312 subject of another article.

Copyright 2005, Graham McClung. A retired geologist, Graham McClung has had a lifelong interest in the outdoors. And where there's outdoors there's weather. He is the editor of, where you can find reviews and advice to help you choose and use your own home weather station. You can contact him by email at

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