Posted in Death, Earth, Eastern Shore, Exploring, Garden, Maryland, Nature, Photo Challenge/Assignment, Photography, Play, Spirit, Spring, Walking & Wandering, Writing

Five Photos, Five Stories: Sweet William

Dianthus barbatus
Dianthus barbatus

Long ago and far away, in a land across the sea, lived Fair Margaret, a beautiful young woman who fell in love with a knave known as Sweet William.  Sweet William was known for his heroic and chivalrous deeds, but he also had a reputation as a bit of a ne’er-do-well when it came to the ladies.  His roguish charm was hard to resist, and many a sweet maiden would later regret falling for his line, “Grant us a smile, love.”  Poor Fair Margaret was one such maiden who became his lover, giving her heart, her love, and her innocence to him.  Several weeks later, upon seeing Sweet William marry another, Fair Margaret threw herself from the window of her chamber, and her body was broken and crushed upon the rocks in the sea below.  Her ghost, it is said, haunted Sweet William until he could take it no more, and the old gods granted him his wish to be turned into a flower that would always please the ladies with its charm and cheerfulness.

Trapped in the grasses.
Trapped in the grasses.

Woodland Gnome from The Forest Garden invited me to play along with the latest photo challenge making the rounds.  It is called Five Photos, Five Stories, and it is a very simple challenge.  If you wish to participate, post a photo each day for five consecutive days, and tell a story about each photo.  The story can be truth or fiction, poetry or prose.

The rules also state that each day you should nominate another blogger to participate in the challenge, but we all know how I feel about rules and blog challenges.  Most of my blog friends have either already participated or been invited so, for today, I will not specify anyone in particular.  If you would like to join in the fun, please consider yourself nominated and let me know that you will be participating so I can link to and share your first photo and story in one of my next Five Photos post.

Oh, and I will not be following the consecutive days rule.  Because I’m contrary that way.


As for the photo, the flower is known as Sweet William and when I was looking up the meaning of it, I came across a reference to a traditional English ballad that tells the story of star-crossed lovers, one or both of whom die in the end.  There are several variations of the song and story with different titles, including “Fair Margaret and Sweet William.”  I borrowed from the story, and came up with my own ending.  You can read about the ballad here.

In the language of flowers, Sweet William is said to mean gallantry, smile, or “grant me one smile” which is where my Sweet William gets his pick-up line.  Gallant, in the archaic sense, means to flirt.  So, there is a little of that in the story as well.

The flower itself is growing in our rain garden where we planted a mix of seeds last year.  This is the first year the Sweet William has bloomed.  There is another flower blooming out there as well, but I haven’t yet figured out what it is.  I’ll show that to you as soon as I do.  Or, if I don’t identify it, I’ll post it anyway, in hopes that some kind person out there will help me out.

This is the last of the fictional stories.  The rest of the stories (there are two more) for this challenge will be just the usual daily walk type stories.  My brain, thankfully, did not explode, but this is too much like work and honestly, for now, not up my alley.  I am in awe of people who write good fiction and dream up not just whole worlds, but create people as well.  It seems to me a very god-like thing to do.


Robin is... too many things to list, but here is a start: an artist and writer; a photographer and saunterer; a daughter and sister and granddaughter; a friend, a partner, a wife, a mother, and a grandmother; a gardener, a great and imaginative cook, and the creator of wonderful sandwiches.

13 thoughts on “Five Photos, Five Stories: Sweet William

  1. I once had quite a lot of sweet william on a hillside. I should go out and see if there’s any left. It lasts a long time in a cut arrangement and does smell so good! Loved your story adaptation.


  2. Enjoyed your story! I think it is cool you took this stab at a bit of fiction. I don’t think I could do it for 5 photos, 5 stories. I do plan to get to this challenge eventually (Dawn invited me) but haven’t figured out just when or how I will go about it. Love the sweet william. I have some that blooms here and there every now and again; it seems fickle like the william of your story.


    1. Thank you, Karma. 🙂 I think this is my last attempt at fiction. It’s just not my forte. I’m looking forward to seeing what you do with your five photos and five stories.


Comments are delightful and always appreciated. I will respond when I can (life is keeping me busy!), and/or come around to visit you at your place soon. Thank you!

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