Several years ago I sowed some red Sweet William (Dianthus barbatus) seeds in my flower garden. I have loved this flowers for as long as I remember. It smells wonderful and holds its bloom for a long time.
The plant is listed as a biennial or weak perennial. I think in my garden it is a strong perennial! It is a member of the carnation family and the fragrance to me is a mix of nutmeg and honey.
Every year since I seeded it, the plants have grown and spread. They do not completely die back in the winter, but keep a low growth of dark green leaves that spring up again each summer. From just a couple stalks with red flowers the Sweet William has increased to take over half the garden.
I’m not sure how the new colors developed, maybe from the seeds of the original red plants. Now I have fuchsia flowers with pink centers and fringe and one lovely stalk of salmon colored petals. In the fall when the seed heads form, I help spread the seeds around, hoping for an ever widening patch of Sweet William.