Sweet William!

1 05 2008

Why the exclamation mark? Here’s the story: Last week Michael was helping me in the garden and when I handed him two of these to plant, he asked me what they were. When I told him they were called “Sweet William,” he decided that “Sweet William!” would be his new expletive. For the rest of the day, he would say things like, “Sweet William, I’m hungry!” or “Sweet William, we have a lot of plants!” etc. You can just imagine how soon that became an irritant.

This old-fashioned biennial is a favorite in cottage gardens and happily self-seeds with the right conditions. Also known as “Dianthus barbatus,” it blooms best in cool weather. Sweet Williams are ancient flowers that symbolize friendship. The Greeks classified them as ‘dianthus,” from ‘dios’ (divine) and ‘anthos’ (flower). The flowers have a mild flavor and can be used as a garnish for salads, desserts, and drinks.

How to grow Sweet William: http://www.gardenersnet.com/flower/sweetwilliam.htm

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.