Cottage Garden Pinks
There is something of an old world charm that surrounds Dianthus, or Pinks
as they are better known. They are amongst some of the best garden plants
around and what most gardeners tend to refer to a "good doer". Hardy
throughout the country, pinks will grow successfully in virtually any soil
or situation. Plants form a neat mound of attractive, glaucous evergreen
foliage over which the flowers are borne. Flowers are produced perpetually
and abundantly from May all the way through to October and the range of
colours available means that there is bound to be a variety to suit you.
The carnation like flowers are also popular as cut flowers, many gardeners
specifically grow them for this purpose on allotments to keep the house
stocked with blooms and scent all through summer. And what a scent they
have. All pinks have a clove perfume that really has to be experienced in
order to appreciate yet another delight of these wonderful plants. The
value of Pinks is also confirmed by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS)
who have given many varieties the prestigious Award of Garden Merit (AGM).
This is the best thing to look for when buying Pinks or indeed other
garden plants. You know they have been put through their paces and should
serve you well. Some of the best varieties around include.
"Devon General" which has vibrant crimson flowers and a truly
perpetual flowering habit. The plants are strong growing producing a neat,
"Devon Cream" is a new development in Pink breeding producing
chrome yellow blooms with light magenta flushes. It makes a strong growing
plant that is best stopped and fed well to produce the most flowers.
"Devon Wizard" has vibrant cyclamen purple flowers with a ruby red
centre. The plant is vigorous with stout stems and an AGM winner. Amongst
my favourite varieties.
"Cranmere Pool" is yet another favourite. Creamy white double
blooms with a deep magenta centre, are produced on neat bushy plants,
again an AGM winner.
"Doris" is a traditional variety that I wouldn't be without. This
traditional variety has been one of the most useful for the breeders
looking for new colours. Pale pink semi-double blooms with a carmine ring
are produced in heavy flushes throughout the summer. Another AGM winner.
"Mrs. Sinkins", is a variety I just had to include. A very old
cultivar with double white, frilled blooms and a really strong perfume, it
should be included in all collections but can be difficult to get hold of.
The variety "Letitia Wyatt" has large, soft pink double blooms in
quantity and is a really robust variety. AGM holder.
Of course all the above varieties are excellent but if you are looking for
dwarfer plants, or some thing for the alpine garden you can't go wrong
with the new star series. "Calypso Star" has Raspberry red petals,
framed and dappled with the palest pink whilst "Evening Star" is
semi-double with a gorgeous sunset pink with a maroon eye. "Neon Star"
is a brand new addition to the series and is an amazing dayglow cerise
colour with flowers borne over a tight silver grey mound. There are many
more varieties available in the star series with different colour and like
all of the above varieties in the series they have an exceptionally strong
© 2000 Chris Bonnett - Gardening Express