Dianthus

Garden Pinks

The subtleties of the Dianthus we’ve selected will take you back to Roman times, when this plant was regarded as divine, ‘Jove’s Flower’. Throughout history, clove-scented Dianthus have been cultivated for their fragrance and essential oils. Easy to grow and vigorous in well drained soil, Dianthus, with neat mounds of linear blue, green or gray-green foliage, are an ageless addition to any garden, especially suited to timeworn habitats such as the rockery, walls or stone pathways.

<i>Dianthus</i> ‘Bridal Veil’

Another dazzling Dianthus whose popularity has endured since the 17th-century, ‘Bridal Veil’ stays true to her name with ornate, highly fringed double white flowers. Speckled, deep carmine-colored centers are as plush as velour and ignite the crisp snowy blooms that offer up such a sweet and strong perfume, while adorning low, narrow-leafed gray-green tumps.

Blooms July – August.

Size: 12" high x 12" wide.

Hardy to zone 6.

<i>Dianthus carthusianorum</i>

Hailing from the alpine meadows of central and southeast Europe, this tall growing Dianthus begets small, deep magenta blooms. Narrow, grassy green foliage comprise the long lasting rosettes, which send up wiry, and nearly leafless, bluish stems. Crowning the lengthy stalks, little tufts of reddish brown calyxes cradle six or more vividly tinted flowers enhanced by fringed petals.

Happiest in dry sunny sites and alkaline soils, this sprightly perennial brings cheery color to a naturalized planting of grasses.

Blooms July–September.

Size: 2' 0" – 2-1/2' high x 10" – 12" wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

<i>Dianthus</i> ‘Charles Musgrave’ <i>Dianthus</i> ‘Charles Musgrave’

Charles hit the jackpot with this cultivar: pure, perfect white with the most unusual green eye, and a spicy fragrance. Pair with Lavandula ‘Imperial Gem’. Bring on a second bloom by trimming back its silver-gray foliage and spent stalks after the first flowering.

Blooms May–July.

Size: 10" high x 12" wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

<i>Dianthus</i> ‘Gloriosa’

Cultivated in Scotland since the 1700s, migrating to the Pacific Northwest via Scottish immigrants and finally rediscovered in a Seattle garden, this old-time enchantress has an intriguing heritage. ‘Gloriosa’s pale pink flowers were once described by British garden writer, Roy Genders as possessing “a fully double, beautiful shape with an outstanding fragrance.” Dark red eyes enhance the floral splendor perched just above a tidy, low growing blue-green mat that’s both hardy and vigorous.

Blooms July – August.

Size: 12" high x 12" wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

A study in delicacy, this fragrant shell pink double blossom harmonizes with the blues of Nepeta and Lavender, or with yellows. Hosted atop bluish tumps, the buds that appear in May are a joy in their own right, long and linear, revealing a deep maroon stripe around each base.

Blooms July–August.

Size: 12" high x 12" wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

<i>Dianthus</i> ‘Mendlesham Frilly’

Aptly named, ‘Frilly’s semidouble flowers are just that, bright pink with fringed petals and a dainty look. Sue and Peter Russell of Mills Farm Plants in England bred this cultivar as one of their highly successful ‘Mendlesham Series’, a group of Dianthus selected for neat, compact form, demure appearance, intense fragrance, and repeat bloom.

Blooms June–September.

Size: 9" high x 15" wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

The lavish, richly pink, semidouble blossoms bred into this cultivar by Sue and Peter Russell burst forth almost continuously throughout its long blooming season. Particularly neat blue-green narrow foliage mounds nicely; show it off at the front of the border or, for a fragrant delight, plant with Lavandula ‘Richard Gray’.

Blooms June–September.

Size: 8" high x 12" wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

<i>Dianthus</i> ‘Mendlesham Maid’

Snow white, semidouble flowers sparkle with a classic elegance above a handsome tussock of blue foliage. The first cultivar in the Russells’ impressive ‘Mendlesham Series’, this sweetly fragrant maid will look exquisite in your favorite container.

Blooms June–September.

Size: 8" high x 12" wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

<i>Dianthus</i> ‘Nancy Lindsay’

Liberated from the namesakes’ garden following her demise, this age-old British treasure offers a lavish floral pageantry. Pearly eyed flowers show off deep carmine petals, each donning pinkish white fringes, 2 irregular snowy flecks and minute, magenta speckles that glisten in the morning light. ‘Nancy’s dainty flowers dress up her tidy, glaucous blue tussock and fill the air with an irresistible spicy perfume.

Blooms July–August

Size: 9" high x 12" wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

<i>Dianthus</i> ‘Oakington’

Trimmed with fringed rosy mauve petals, quantities of open-faced semidouble blossoms exude an enticing clove aroma. Spotted in England by Alan Bloom, ‘Oakington’s densely sculpted, low blue-gray tufts look good nearly year round and can be nestled alongside Achillea x kellereri or Thymus praecox ‘Albus’ for an intriguing foliar tapestry.

Blooms July – August.

Size: 8" high x 12" wide.

Zone 5/6.

<i>Dianthus</i> ‘Pheasant’s Ear’

This old cultivar, dating back to 1690, is named for the tuft in the center of the flower, which was thought to represent a pheasant’s ear. The semi-double white flowers are strongly scented and fringed with the same deep burgundy color as the centers. We think its stunning blooms, tidy mounding habit, and fine blue-hued foliage will make this prolific bloomer a favorite for centuries to come.

Blooms May–June.

Size: 9" – 12" high x 14" wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

The delectable clove-scented barrage of long lasting 2 in. wide double blooms inspired American Dianthus aficionado, Mr. Rand Lee, to place ‘Rose De Mai’ at the top of his all-time favorite Gillyflower list. Endowed with an easy-to-blend clear pink floral color, the lovely fringed display is staged well above narrow leafy stems and sturdy silver-laced, blue-green foliage. It appreciates an occasional trim and promises to soften any garden path or rock work, enduring drought plus difficult clay sites.

Blooms May-August

Size: 12" – 18" high x 12" – 18" wide.

Hardy to zone 3.

Endemic to Europe’s Carpathian mountains, this low growing Dianthus is tailor-made for the rockery. A dense and compact blue-green cushion defined by prominently pointed, linear foliage elevates the wispy, scented cloud of white bearded flowers.

Lacy petals are inscribed at their bases with singular burgundy bands, forming a richly colored ring that centers each fringed celestial bloom.

Blooms May–August.

Size: 8" high x 12" – 15" wide.

Hardy to zone 6.

<i>Dianthus superbus</i> <i>Dianthus superbus</i>

Its Japanese name, ‘Nadesiko,’ translates to “pretty girl” or “child,” and we couldn’t agree more! Grassy green tufts of narrow evergreen leaves set the stage for the deliciously fragrant, ethereal flowers. Feathery and fringed, the five-petaled, green-eyed blooms, colored in soft pinkish lavender hues, grace long but sturdy branched stems that emerge in a relaxed fashion before ascending.

Provide this enchanting, easy-to-cultivate Pink a cool spot with rich, well drained soil, and a multitude of lacy, loose floral clusters is yours to enjoy all summer long.

Blooms June–August.

Size: 12" – 15" high x 2' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

<i>Dianthus</i> ‘Unique’

A spectacular 17th-century cultivar, this handsome compact Dianthus is one of the rarest of old pinks. Stunning, frilled single flowers are so richly colored they look like velvet, the pink center set off by glowing red and dark crimson markings and deep pink feathering. The look is matched only by the delicious, almost intoxicating, clove fragrance. For an opulent blend of colors, plant with Lobelia ‘La Fresco’ and Schizachyrium.

Blooms July–August.

Size: 8" high x 14" wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

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Fantastic Fall Foliage.... The arresting foliage of these easy-care, low growing perennials remains tidy well into November. Adequate water, mulch and a mid-season trim help ensure their staying power.

November's last hurrah.... The shorter days and cooler nights of November have set the garden ablaze with eye-catching foliar color. By planting an assortment of woody plants as well as herbaceous perennials and ornamental grasses, which promote late season allure, a last hurrah is easily achieved. Each of the plants included in this newsletter bestow either plump berries, late blooms, compelling foliage or artful branching patterns. Happy Digging!

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