Sweet William, a stonking good cut flower

Sweet William from the cutting border

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.

Sweet William Auricula Eyed MixedSweet William in the cut flower border

Sweet WilliamI love the whispy acid green flower buds that set of the blooms perfectly

Sweet William Auricula Eyed Mixed 2What a beauty!

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.

Sweet William SeedlingSweet William seedlings ready to be transfered to individual pots

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.

White foxgloveWhite fox gloves lift a border at this time of year and stand out like ghosts at dusk

Pink foxgloveA self seeded invader. pretty but not white!

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2 Comments

  1. Do the plants re flower if you cut some to put in vases? Does it extend the flowering life.
    All mine I planted last year are flowering beautifully despite some bad frosts.

    • The plants do reflower but the blooms are smaller. I always sow seed again now and plant out latter in the year for flowers the following year. They will flower again but again not so big blooms. They’re best treated as biannuals. Enjoy them in your vase.

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