I love Sweet Williams. With their fragrant flat-top clusters of frilly flowers they make excellent border fillers and are equally as attractive when grouped together to form jewel like pockets, cottage garden style, along the flower bed. For those with a balcony rather than a garden, Sweet Williams look great when grown in containers. They don’t have a massive footprint, so you’ll still be rewarded with glorious summer colour even in the most compact of pots.
Planting Conditions & Growing Habit
Sweet Williams are easy to grow and are remarkably hardy. They are usually grown as a biennial which means that if you sow them now, in the summer, you’ll have a magnificent display, starting in late spring next year and continuing through to mid summer.
Season after season, Sweet Williams’ self seeding habit should ensure that they will return the following year with just as much vigour. I’ve even seen really mature sweet Williams, albeit on quite woody stems still going strong in mature cottage gardens years after they were first planted.
I honestly can’t think of a variety of Sweet William that I don’t like from the snow white wonder of this ‘White Barbarini’ variety above through to the wealth of hot pinks and flame reds available, they all beautiful. Thompson & Morgan have some particularly vibrant choices of seeds, all really easy to grow. Regardless of which variety you choose, they all have an approximate height of 6 inches and a spread of 12 inches, so they really will fill out a border or planter nicely.
Just look at how effectively this rose pink Sweet William acts as a focal point in this planter below. It’s height and spread is just enough to give it the star quality that a central plant needs, whilst at the same time, it compliments rather than dominates it’s companion plants. I’m totally smitten with this colour scheme to. Bright pink, blue and silver planting is timeless and this pot would look equally good in a cottage garden setting or on a small urban balcony.
Sweet Williams in Flower Arrangements
Sweet William flowers are excellent for cutting and really enhance a display, both with their delightful colours and the fact that the foliage is quite compact but vibrant green and bushy. If you’re looking for a flower that will also act as a filler in your display, this is it. Just look how the Sweet Wiliams pad out this display below.
Sweet William has long been one of the florist’s favourites for bridal bouquets. It’s subtle scent, ability to add depth and volume, and it’s small but enchanting blooms make it an ideal choice.
Feature Image: Dundee Nursery