That’s right Old Maids and Sweet Williams and I don’t mean a middle aged courtship! With April Fools Day behind us, the days are getting warmer and Spring is blooming all over. For those of us who love digging in the dirt, we are anxious to get plants started. Just the other day I was looking through a seed catalog and a couple of items brought back some fond Dark Corner memories.
As I have noted in previous blogs, Grandma Lillie was a farmer of sorts. I say of sorts because she grew many crops, had numerous farm animals, sewed beautiful quilts and was a wonderful cook. So to say she was just a farmwoman is quite a disservice! As someone who loved the land, Grandma Lillie loved flowers of all sorts and grew some of the most beautiful flower gardens around. Her gardens were not manicured or symmetrical, but more like gardens of opportunity. If there was a bare spot, plant some flowers, an unused pot then put a plant in it or a tub or bucket with a hole in it then it became a flower pot. Grandma Lillie was sustainable long before the term was popular!
Some of Grandma Lillie’s flowers were Old Maids and Sweet Williams. For those who do not recognize those names an Old Maid is a Zinnia and Sweet Williams are Dianthus. Both flowers are easily grown from seed from one year to the next. Sweet Williams are actually perennials so you have to plant them one year and they will regrow to bloom the next year. Old Maids come in a rainbow of colors and loved by butterflies and bees. Old Maids can be short or tall with showy double blooms or more conservative single blooms. Sweet Williams are generally pink, white and red or a mix of those colors. Sweet Williams tend to be fairly uniform in height at 12-15 inches tall and also are attractive to butterflies and bees. As for fragrance, Old Maids have little scent and Sweet Williams smell a bit like carnations. But put the two flowers together and you will have a riot of color, happy bees and a bit of perfume too!
So what are you waiting for? Get some seeds, grab a bucket, a tub or even an old boot and plant some flowers! This year do something different and grow your own garden of opportunity!