Sunday, October 14, 2012

Sooty Sweet William

Sweet William
Dianthus barbatus var. nigrescens 'Sooty'
Synonyms: Dianthus nigrescens

There seems to be some debate on whether or not this flower is a biennial or perennial. My experiences have been mostly biennial and if we get 2 or 3 years out of them we are happy. Dianthus seems to thrive in the drier areas of the garden with unimproved soil. The edge of masonry work with even a little stone dust from the stonework mixed in seems to suit it best. Winter drainage is also an important part of keeping them going. It is true garden classic that has been around a long time. Lately some new cultivars have been showing up due to breeding so they may be more perennial. This type grows 8-12 inches tall and gets nice dark foliage later in the season. It is said the flowers smell like chocolate but I can’t confirm or deny that.

Since it is Sunday again here is the bonus flower snapshot.

Hybrid Tea Rose ‘Fragrant Cloud’
Rosa (ro-zuh)

This is a really beautiful hybrid tea rose. It is quite old having been introduced in 1963. I always have a lot of respect for a rose that can last that long on the market. It can be susceptible to black spot and other rose problems but you forget all about that when you have cut a few of the flowers for the house. It certainly lives up to its name then.

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