What Was your First Plant?

Today I am joining the Grow Write Guild over at You Grow Girl. What a great idea writing from prompts. There are often times when I have nothing to write about. For those who know me and my chatter, this will come as a big surprise. The prompt today was to talk about the first plant I ever grew. Well, I am not sure if it was the first plant but it was one of my favourites.

I loved to grow Sweet William. I didn’t know it by any other name as I wasn’t very latin savvy in the 70’s. (Oops, dating myself!) I would grow the Sweet William or Dianthus barbatus along my front walkway. They were only about 18 inches high but came in all sorts of colours from whites to pinks to reds. If I was lucky they would reseed continuing the bloom from year to year. I didn’t know at the time they were a biennial plant producing flowers on two-year old plants. A new gardener doesn’t know about such things. I liked them for their flowers.

Upon some research the name Sweet William according to the Victorian language of flowers  refers to gallantry. Interesting thought just now. My youngest son is named William but not after the plant. I like the reference to gallantry as he is definitely a gentleman.

I loved to use the flowers in bouquets for the home. The more I picked the flowers, the more they would bloom. For a new gardener this was a good thing.


Now that I reflect on the success I had with growing Sweet William, I wonder why I stopped. I have now started collecting more of the perennial Dianthus as they return each spring with the most fragrant of flowers. They are also evergreen with many plants having a bluish tinge to the foliage. Now that I have reflected on my first plant, I may just have to go buy some seeds and start them in my garden. Old fashioned plants like Sweet William are not planted as much as they used to be. Its time for the old to become new again, don’t you think?

10 thoughts on “What Was your First Plant?

  1. I never stopped growing Sweet William. They did dwindle away to just a couple of plants but they’re back thisyear with renewed vigor. I planted seeds in the fall and put out 21 little plants last month. I hope they’re white. If they aren’t, it is okay.

  2. I remember my parents growing Sweet Williams, but I have never grown them. Maybe the biennial part scared me off… I do have perennial dianthus in my garden. Thanks for sharing!

  3. I think we have a purple variety of this outside the back door. I thought it was a perennial, so it must be reseeding vigorously! I’ll have to see if I can collect a few seeds this year and start a second patch of them.

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