Value for money, Dianthus, Garden Pinks looking terrific planted in our back garden and in containers in the courtyard.
Garden pinks in our garden
I can think of no better alternative to Summer bedding plants than garden pinks. These planted in the wooden containers I ordered last year.
The small sturdy plug plants arrived in early May, I potted them up into 9 cm pots and six weeks later they were ready to plant in the containers.
To my surprise, they bloomed in the first year. However, this year they have been sensational. The first blooms of the red one (Passion) actually had their first flowers in late Winter. They were all in full bloom by mid-June.
I will share with you the mail order company who supplied me with these sensational Dianthus. They are reasonably priced, and they have a selection which I am sure will please you.
Mind you, it’s not a case of plant and forget, I will let you know how to care for your garden pinks. They are available in three sizes, 10 – 19 cm– 19 – 29 cm and 30 – 50 cm, for me the middle size is best for containers and the borders.
Plant details for garden pinks
In the picture below, you can see the garden pinks planted in the border. As you can see, I could have been more adventurous with the colour selection. I will sort that out for next year.
Flowers and leaves
Garden pinks are hardy perennials and can flower for most of the Summer, very often showing early blooms in the Spring if the Winter has been mild.
The flowers come in a wide range of colours, pale pink, deep pink, white, red, lilac and bi coloured. Makes you wonder why Dianthus are known as garden pinks, Well, apparently it’s all to do with the flowers having a serrated edge making them look as if they had been snipped along the top with pinking shears.
The flowers on many of these plants are highly scented, sort of clove like.
Most have grey foliage, which can look good even when not in bloom, some of them have green foliage like the red one in our garden.
Fully hardy in UK
They come in a wide range from 10 cm to 50 cm
So pleased am I with these garden pinks I feel obliged to let you know where I purchased them from
Whetman garden plants they have a fabulous selection, very reasonably priced. I would recommend Plug plants for delivery in Spring, they will bloom in the first year.
Soil and position
Soil is best if it is neutral or on the alkaline side. For pots, a good quality general garden compost mixed with about 30% of John Iness No. 3. Also add some grit through the compost, plant and top dress with grit. Dianthus just love free draining.
Pinks just love the sunshine, but will also do pretty well in a partially shaded position.
Let’s start with pruning. Each flowering stem carries quite a few blooms, as each flower dies, nip off the dead bloom. When the last bloom on that stem is over with, prune the stem down to just above a lower leaf joint. Carry out this procedure with the whole plant, and you will soon have new buds appearing.
Although Dianthus dislike soggy ground, they will require watering in the Summer to make sure they do not dry out completely.
Feeding every two weeks in Summer will help with the continuous formation of flower buds. Use a high potash liquid feed, I am a great fan of Richard Jacksons Flower Power available on QVC.
Pinks are generally seen as one of the easiest plants to root from cuttings.
In late Spring or early summer take cuttings of non-flowering stems, cut just below a leaf joint and pop several of them around the edge of a small plant pot, garden compost will be fine. Water and place in a reasonably shady spot. Make sure they don’t dry out, but keep them just moist.
Check in about six weeks time and pot up individually if they have rooted. Plant out in permanent position in October if they look strong enough. Otherwise, wait until next Spring.
Preparing for Winter
We will refer to this as the main pruning. Around about late September, it’s time to tidy up your plants for Winter. Cut the plants back to make a low round mound as you would do with Lavender.
If you leave them too tall, they will get woody. Dianthus are not the longest living perennials, but with good care they could last six years. Another bonus of having this highly scented long flowering perennials is, they make attractive ground cover for the Winter.
Since our early twenties, we have had four gardens, they all had a house to provide shelter. The first one was in the pre digital camera days, so no pics to show of it. Here in Fife where we now are we had to create a garden from scratch. I am very pleased with it, and It’s not too big for us old timers.
Our Aberdeen garden was almost a blank canvas, with a vegetable plot and garden with narrow borders. Two months before leaving Aberdeen, I decided to take a video of the back garden, it’s on the shaky side but not so bad if you go full screen. If you would like to take a look, I have placed a link below. It makes us feel a little melancholy, but glad we live in a time when we can have these reminders.