The Sweet William plants growing in my greenhouse for next spring have already produced some flowers . They were ready for planting outside in early autumn but I decided to leave them inside when I saw buds developing. I’ve had a few flowers for the house already and today I cut some more.
Sweet William Dianthus barbatus are very popular flowers for country gardens and are often treated as biennials like Forget-me-nots and Foxgloves. Seed suppliers encourage us to grow new plants each summer for flowering in spring the year after. Well they would wouldn’t they!
Usually biennials are discarded after flowering, particularly when the gardener wants the space for summer flowering annuals.
Experts say that vigorous new plants produce much better flowers. Once the first flowering is over they should be pulled up and composted they suggest. Well that’s one point of view but like most things in a garden there’s always an alternative. If you don’t want to replace them with other plants their evergreen foliage will last all winter and they will flower again for you the following spring.
In fact Sweet Williams are actually short lived perennials. They will last for a few years in most gardens if you leave them to carry on growing and flowering. And luckily for us, the more flowers you cut for your vase the more flowers the plants produce. They are perfect plants for a country style garden.
It’s only a tiny vase but that’s all you need for these pretty short stemmed flowers. I’m leaving the plants in the greenhouse a little while longer… fingers crossed that I may get a few more flowers before it turns colder.
To see lots more vases full of flowers and foliage have a look at Cathys lovely Blog Rambling in the Garden then just scroll down to the comments to see links for each garden blogger.
Happy Gardening! Gillian 🙂