A varied group of plants, in general Dianthus are easy care, and widely grown, best known for types such as 'Sweet Williams', Carnations 'Pinks', 'Clove Pinks' and 'Cheddar Pinks'.
The 'cheddar pinks' are very fragrant and are named such as they are originally from the Cheddar Gorge in Somerset, almost extinct in the wild due to over picking and habitat destruction from Victorian times until today. Pictured right we have Dianthus gratianopolitanus or 'Cheddar Pink'
And as for the common name of 'Pinks', it is to do with the edges of the flowers themselves, they look as though they have been cut with a pair of 'pinking shears'.
Dianthus are popular for the sweetly fragrant flowers as well as the foliage. The longer stemmed varieties are also a wonderful cut flower and the others are great for vases and posies.
So what is the difference between them. Carnations are bred for the cut flower industry, they tend to be a little more fussy than most. The 'Cheddar pinks' are the really hardy types, excellent in the cottage garden, rock garden or in a container. And the 'Sweet Williams' or 'Pinks' are usually treated as a biennial, unless you live in a warmer climate.
Specialist Dianthus nurseries can supply by mail order Dianthus or "Garden Pinks", these are a perennial plant used widely in garden borders.
Dianthus caryophyllus hybrids are the Sim Carnations. The Pinks, or Sweet Williams are Dianthus barbatus, this is a large genus with well over 300 different species, of dianthus the variety available is huge.
Dianthus caryophyllus (Clove Pink) is a Dianthus species from the Mediterranean, fragrant, drought and heat tolerant. Dianthus gratianopolitanus or 'Cheddar Pinks' (see picture right) are similar.
Plant in spring or autumn in a sunny position.
- A humus rich moist but well drained soil is essential, Dianthus all require good drainage.
- A major problem with Dianthus is soggy or wet soils during winter months.
- We like to apply some well rotted compost in spring and a little mulch in early summer to help retain moisture.
- Spent flower heads can be pruned away to encourage a second flush of flowers.
- As winter comes and the first frosts appear plants can be cut back to just above ground level.
- Established clumps can be divided every 4 - 5 years.
- Dianthus plumarus also known as 'Pinks ' have been grown for many years and need little introduction, other Dianthus species are worth exploring.
- Dianthus petraeus is an interesting species, low growing and mat-forming with needle like foliage. Small fragrant flowers in summer.
- Dianthus Averiensis is an alpine species with a nice fragrance.
Dianthus are available for sale from the following nurseries and specialist growers
MOUNT FOLLY NURSERIES
Southwick Road North Boarhunt Near Wickham Hants PO17 6JH
Phone : 01329 832294 : : 07000 M-O-U-N-T-F :: 07000 F-U-C-H-S-I-A
Includes: Tuberous Begonias. Young plants specialists. Growing Fuchsias, Geraniums, Patio Plants and Plug Plants. One of the best selections available in the UK direct from the grower!
HALCYON PLANTS phone 01267 281031
Plas y Maes Trawsmawr Carmarthen SA33 6NH
'Our aim at Halcyon Plants is to provide a varied and reliable range of great garden plants and good value plant seeds to buy online.' Lavender, Bamboo, Shrubs, Perennials, Crocosmia, Lily, Potentilla, Plant Seed, Iris, Hemerocallis, Hardy Fuchsia, Hardy Geranium, Herbs, Dianthus, Hosta, Phormiums, Penstemon,Heuchera, Potentilla, Cistus.
TOUCHWOOD PLANTS - phone: 01792 522443
4 Clyne Valley Cottages, Killay, Swansea, SA2 7DU
Unusual, rare and cottage garden plants. Extensive seed lists, also plants for sale. Specialist in aquilegias (granny's bonnets, columbines); including coloured leaf forms, scented ones and red and yellow doubles.
WALNUT TREE GARDEN NURSERY - phone : 01953 488 163
Flymoor Lane Rocklands Attleborough Norfolk NR 17 1BP
Offering a wide range of herbaceous perennials, ornamental trees,¬? shrubs and old roses; includes rare varieties and species and¬? well-loved classics; large plantsmans' garden.
BLUEBELL ARBORETUM and NURSERY - phone: (01530) 413700)
Annwell Lane Smisby nr. Ashby de la Zouch Derbyshire LE65 2TA Owner: Robert and Suzy Vernon.
Opening hours: *March to October 9am. to 5pm. (Sundays 10.30am to 4.30pm),. November to February 9am. to 4pm. (Closed on Sundays) Includes: Dianthus
Specialist mail order and retail nursery that grow and sell a huge variety of rare and unusual trees, shrubs, grasses, and herbaceous!
SPECIAL PLANTS - phone: 01225 891686
Greenways Lane, Cold Ashton, Chippenham, Wilts SN14 8LA
You may also like