Sweet alyssum is easy to grow. True to its name, it has a light honey-scent, with tiny white flowers that grow close to the ground.It’s intoxicating.
Alyssum is an annual, starting small, then spreading a foot in diameter by late summer. When I want it to grow in a certain spot, I’ll buy a six-cell pack. It easily self-seeds, so I often scatter the spent flowers around the garden in the fall, then enjoy what comes up and where the following year.
As I was plucking weeds in the side yard this week, I noticed at least two dozen alyssum seedlings. I’m sure I pulled out one or two in my zeal to rid the dirt of pesky weeds before I realized what they were. I made a hasty retreat.
My garden is not complete without Sweet alyssum and here’s why:
- I’m named after my father’s sister, Alys, a fashion mannequin in the 1920s.
- My father was an English horticulturist.
- My former boss called me ‘Sweet Alys’
What better flower to honor my father and aunt than ‘Sweet alyssum.’
What’s in a name:
- The spelling of Alys dates back to the 1600s. In Welsh the name means ‘of the nobility.’
- Sweet Alyssum (Lobularia maritima) originated in Greece.