Unfashionable flowers

I confess a deep love of Sweet William (Dianthus barbatus). Very gauche of me, I am sure. Actually, I have a huge tender spot for cottage flowers in general. That they’re biennials or tender perennials ups my regard for them. I am not sure why this latter category sways me so; maybe it’s their fleeting nature (foxglove, hollyhock, and some delphiniums are also in this category, and I love them, too).

9 responses to “Unfashionable flowers

  1. Oh, you’re not alone in your love for Sweet William. I too love them and all their beautiful colors. Then again, like you, I enjoy the cottage type flowers. I guess we’ll have to start our own “we love the flowers no one else does” club. I mean, someone has to love them….right?!

  2. I love cottagey flowers too. Although I don’t have any sweet william, and hollyhocks and foxgloves don’t like me. They ditch me after a year, never to return. Who says they are unfashionable? What do they know!

  3. I love Sweet William. This is the first year I’m growing it in my garden, although my grandmother grew it at her house when I was a little girl.

  4. Blackswamp_Girl

    I think that I like the variability of the biennials and tender perennials the most. “Holes” in the garden from those plants that have moved on are opportunities to try something new. Big plants like hollyhocks are great for filling spaces for a couple of years while small hardier perennials beef up.

    Plus, I have always loved an underdog. It has only taken me several times of explaining what “biennial” means on a foxglove tag, and seeing the disinterest grow in a customer’s eyes, to make me want to take all of those digitalis and give them a good home. Silly, eh?

  5. The County Clerk

    Not Gauche. My general attitude is that if the whole world is going crazy over something, it probably sucks.

    There are, of course, exceptions. Electricity is pretty good.

    But I like these unfashionable things. I’m an unfashionable guy.

    And now I’m going to go out and get some Sweet William.

    And Blackswamp Girl: Digitalis isn’t for everyone. More for us.

  6. I have a soft spot for them too. I think it’s those “pinking shears” edges on them that get to me!

  7. Well, great, I am glad to see I am not alone.

    What I think I really like most about them is how long they take to come into full bloom. If there’s some variation in the light they get, like that first pic shows, the later flowers are lighter or darker.

    They also self-seed (albeit discreetly) and their babies can have a LOT of variation.

    Pennie, I’m all for a club!

    M, try them. They grow well from seed.

    Colleen, I think it’s great to redo OPF (Other People’s Flowers), especially those with a history.

    Kim, you can box up and send any homeless digitalis to Hank or me. I could trade you a tree…

    Hank, I’m with you on electricity.

    Lostroses: Pinking shears! Now there’s a term that doesn’t cross my mind often. Do you like pinks, too (regular old Dianthus)? I have a few but don’t like them as much.

  8. I had no idea flowers could be “not cool.” I’m new to the garden and picked up a whole bunch last yr and this yr. my sweet william this year are great. I love any flower that grows beautifully in my garden!

  9. Marie (FKA Piana Nanna)

    I don’t believe in following trends in the garden. I do what I like and I happen to love sweet Williams and Hollyhocks. And now you can see you are not alone.

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