William is ever so Sweet

TOD PALENSKI
Last updated 12:00 06/07/2012
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FAIRFAX NZ
SIMPLE: Sweet William with Heuchera.

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Witch hazel enchanting Hot in the city For better berries Do the hokey-pokey Spinach that just keeps on giving Promise of things to come Versatile sweeties flower in abundance Brighten up your winter Lasting garden flavours Brighten your rooms with bulbs

Looking to add a bit of sweet serenity to your garden? How about the trusty Sweet William?

Just like the name implies, Sweet Williams are charming little ornamental garden plants, producing flowers about the size of a 10-cent piece. And for just a little bit of lovin', they'll give you a whole lot of floral fervour in return.

But if you think the flowers are a bit passe, think again, because Sweet Williams were included in Kate Middleton's wedding bouquet.

Originating in southern Europe and parts of Asia, the plants produce up to 30 flowers at the top of each stem. I find they're perfect for hanging baskets – especially with pansies and lobelia around the outside – as they tend to sit neatly in a little mound, rather than growing free-form across the basket.

I also like to put Sweet Williams around the outside of pots; the pretty colours make an attractive feature on any deck or patio. In the garden, the plants are best used around your borders, in bedding, or to add co-ordinated colour waves.

The great thing about Sweet Williams is you can generally just plant them, then leave them to grow. To get them in the ground, dig a little hole and place the plant in it. Make sure it's a sunny spot – near the letterbox or in and around your rose garden is ideal.

Don't worry if you live in frosty parts because Sweet Williams will hold their own on cool mornings. They also tolerate over-head watering and will thrive happily without any deadheading.

And if it's bees, birds and butterflies you're after, Sweet Williams will bring them buzzing.

To get your hands on Tall Mixed Sweet Williams, go to your local Bunnings, The Warehouse or supermarket. Alternatively, head to the online store at awapuni.co.nz and have your seedlings delivered.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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