Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Dianthus barbatus

Otherwise known as Sweet William!

In October of 2007, we were in the process of buying our new house with plans to sell our old house and at that time I had to make a do or die determination. With winter and frozen ground right around the corner, I had to make a choice, either I could risk losing my perienials that I had at our old house to the new owner should our house sell by spring or I could dig them out now and bring them to this house that we had not purchased yet!
So, in an act of faith, I chose to dig! I asked the current owner if it would be alright and told her that if for whatever reason we did not buy the house that the plants would be hers as I would not be able take them back.
So Mike rototilled a temporary holding plot in the front lawn by the rock wall as I just needed to quickly get them in the ground.

This was on October 30th, 2007 and I might add that this event was the official start of farmerhood!


In the next few weeks, I dug and transplanted as many plants as I could before it got too cold... well, that is I, my little farmer and his little shovel did. Ü


These were the first to be brought over. They are my prized peonies that were brought from my mothers house in Idaho.  I couldn't bear to leave them behind!
But I also brought over a whole lot more than these, especially when someone mentioned to me that perhaps the new owner who would buy our house would not like flower gardens and would... (said in a sinister voice) Mow 'em Down, and Till 'em Under... and ... Plant Grass! HEH-Heh-Heh heeeeeh!
*cringe* What a horrid thought! So I dug and re-dug until I just could not dig anymore!

Then I waited for spring. I had no idea whether any of the plants would even survive the move because it had been done so late in the year but boy, was I happy to see these growing!

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Can't you just... ~sniff-sniffle-snu-u-u-uff~ smell them?

So with springs arrival, I got the gardening itch, and I found myself dealing with a huge blank canvas that had a whole lot more room for gardening than the postage stamp property that my old house provided me. So, I went out and purchased a package of wildflower seed and 'threw it down' in the same plot that had been dug in the fall. I figured that it would be a fast and easy filler garden and at least be good competition for the weeds that would inevitably be growing in the new turned up earth.

Now, I don't know if any of you have 'thrown down' wildflower seed before but I think the one I got was mostly made up of cosmos which seem to grow very well in this neck of the woods, so well in fact that I was able to grow a cosmo forest!


My peonies are in there... somewhere.

Cosmos also reseed very easily. So since that first year I have only let a few grow back and even then they tend to get floppy. But hey... they grow for free so I can't complain too much. 

There were other seeds in that mix that also grew... calendula, poppies, wallflowers, lupines, and batchelors buttons and also sweet william, and it is the latter that has just this year knocked my socks off!

Last year, I hardly remember seeing them... but this year... there is no mistaking their presence!

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I am so surprised by the multitude of colors and the magnitude of blossoms! Amazing how I didn't even know they were there silently growing waiting to bless me with their abundant beauty. And blessed I have been!
And the amount of butterflies that have been attracted to my garden because of them is fantastic... I am always seeing them flitting through.
The ones that are seen in my photos are Spotted Red Admiral , Spice Bush Swallowtail and the Tiger Swallowtail.

It is rather unbelievable, that in just two summers the front yard has gone from this -


to this -

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sweet william 169x
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And all it took was a few transplanted perenials a packet of wildflower seeds and the Lord who gives the increase.

Well, perhaps one day, if your ever in the nieghborhood and you have a few minutes to spare, stop in for a visit and we can sip a cold glass of mint tea... and take stroll amongst the sweet williams... 


Have a blessed day!


  1. Thanks so much for sharing your Sweet Williams with me. They are my most favorite flower. I remember my grandpa 'threw' some Sweet William seeds up on the hillside behind their home and they still grow and reseed to this day. Brenda

  2. The Farmer's WifeJune 25, 2010 at 7:38 AM

    Ahhh, you are welcome! I am just as thankful being able to share them!
    And my neighbor told me recently that she had bought some that died out and I was seriously depressed thinking that mine may not return next year so it is good to hear about their longevity at your grandpas! Whew! Ü


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