I hadn’t planned to blog about the cosmos flowers in Delta Park this year. I’ve already done so multiple times: Once during my #Gauteng52 series and once (very memorably) right before South Africa’s covid-19 lockdown began two years ago. But I went to see the cosmos twice this week and they are so freaking spectacular this year…Or maybe they’re equally spectacular every year and I just forget. Either way, this annual autumn explosion is too good not to blog about again.
My 2017 post contains most everything you need to know about the cosmos in Delta Park, so I won’t repeat it all. But in brief: Cosmos are an alien species, whose seeds made their way to South Africa in contaminated horse feed at the turn of the 20th century during the Anglo Boer War. Cosmos bloom all over the northern half of South Africa for a few weeks each year, mostly in mid/late March. Cosmos are prolific along the potholed roads of the eastern Free State (Thorsten and I saw some massive cosmos fields in the Free State during our Blogitect Road Trip last year) but they also thrive in and around Joburg.
I’m curious to know why there are so many cosmos in Delta Park specifically, but I haven’t been able to find any information about that. I wonder if there was a military camp there during the war? Please chime in if you know.
Reasons to Love Cosmos Flowers
I want to describe what makes cosmos flowers delightful. But it’s hard to put into words. They’re just humble, pink-and-white wildflowers. And yet they’re extraordinary.
First, there are the blossoms. Cosmos blooms are simple yet delicate — thin enough that the sun can shine through them, just so.
The cosmos’ lime-green stems look very much like weeds (which I guess they technically are), but they also have a graceful wispiness about them.
And then, of course, there’s the way cosmos like to grow: in thick, tall banks that beckon you to plunge in and immerse yourself in a sea of pink/white/green.
Lastly, cosmos are irresistibly photogenic and they make everyone (and everything) around them look fabulous.
This year I decided I love cosmos season almost as much as jacaranda season. I realize this is a controversial statement for a Joburger, but it’s how I feel in this moment. Please discuss.
Side note: If you visit the cosmos in Delta Park, be sure to stop and have a look at the Delta Environmental Centre. It’s a beautiful Art Deco building, constructed in the early 1930s when Delta Park was the Delta Sewage Disposal Works. There’s a parking area right beside it.
I’d say you have until the end of March to catch the Delta Park cosmos in peak form this year. Don’t miss them.
Delta Park is a large Joburg park (bordering Blairgowrie, Craighall Park, and Victory Park) with several entrances. To park in front of the Delta Environmental Centre, which is also close to the park’s biggest cosmos field, use this GPS location.