Sunday, May 30, 2010

dianthus, pinks, carnations, and gillyflowers

I have a dear friend who has developed over the past two years a lust with dianthus. Her pots, containers of all sorts and planting beds are filled with them.
I, myself, have fallen for a few. I like the old fashioned sweetness, the clove scent, and putting them into small bedside arrangements.

One of my favorites is Charles Musgrave. It is a white (shocking for those who know me as you know I am not a white flower fan, but I have something up my sleeve for that.) This variety with its single white blooms has a mysterious green eye. I can groove on that. It, when not wind blown, blooms in stems 10-12 inches long. I think this may be one of the sweetest 'glaring' flowers I truly enjoy.

Another Dianthus I seem to like the looks of is a variegated bloomer named Chomley Farran. This oddity with its smokey mauve purple blossoms striped and splashed with a hot cherry pink, or is it more like some sort of Barbified blossom of couture fashion?

There are many great hardy Dianthus out there, many great hardy annual varieties as well. I think we all have favorites. I still enjoy the darkness of Dianthus barbatus nigrescens 'Sooty' and some the great new introductions with their silver blue foliage.

Finding the one that is right for you is the important part. We have colors we like that is true, but ones that are good for your garden without having to reconstruct bed and tear into established plantings.

I must say one of the things I find admirable about my friend is that she has so many containerized. She can move them at whim, enjoy them at table, smell them on her patio or front step. I guess I have been too busy stuffing containers with annuals and tropicals that I missed this little idea to make something you enjoy more accessible.

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