Sweet William my new no.2 all time favourite cut flower (nothing can knock my treasured Dahlias off the top spot!). This is my first year of growing them; I’m not sure why I’ve not grown them previously they just seemed to have passed me by. I‘m now smitten, they’ve sent up bloom after bloom since May with a vase life in excess of two weeks and smell divine. The seed packet says they’ll flower all summer so I’ll report back on their summer performance in a few months.
This is the time of year to start sowing Sweet Williams. They’re biennials which will germinate quickly and easily. Transfer the seedlings to individual pots, and leave outside to grow until Autumn when they’ll need to be planted in their final flowering position. Biennials may seem a bit of a faff but they really are worth it, I think Sweet William must be one of the hardest working cut flowers in the kitchen garden. I’ve had twelve plants of ‘Sweet William Auricula Eyed Mixed’ in my cutting border this year and apart from two white ones the others have all come up in different shades of pink and red. I understand that if you wish Sweet William to take up a permanent position in a border, just leave a few flowers to set seed and they’ll self seed for you.
Whilst you’re sowing your Sweet William it’s well worth sowing a few foxgloves too. Another must have biannual; I love the white ones in borders at this time of year.