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  • Writer's pictureSweet Pea Specialists

Sweet William - Dianthus barbatus

With their bright scented flowers, it is easy to see why Sweet Williams are a traditional cottage garden favourite.

Dianthus barbatus are short lived perennials that are often grown as a biennial. Easy to grow in most soils and enjoy full sun or part shade. Growing to 13 –92cm tall. Each flower is 2–3 cm in diameter with five petals displaying serrated edges.

Sweet Williams are excellent plants for containers, mass plantings and meadow gardens.

They make excellent cut flowers. Each stem producing a ‘spray’ of several flowers - the average being 10-15 blooms per stem. The average stem length is a minimum of 40cm and a maximum of 67cm. Each bloom opens into a delightfully rounded petal with a gorgeous, rounded centre.

Sweet William will last between 7 to 10 days as a cut flower. Pick flowers when the cluster is half open. Buds will continue to open. Spilt the stems and condition over night in cold water.

Sweet Williams will attract bees, birds, and butterflies to your garden.

Flowers are edible and have a mild flavour. They are used as a garnish for vegetable and fruit salads, cakes, desserts, cold drinks, tea and sorbet.

Sweet William symbolises gallantry.

Seeds are sown in pots or directly in late spring to summer.

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