The time has come to speak of the Dianthus.The blooms are now at peak.They are crying out to be featured, so let us oblige.The favorite use for dianthus here is to edge paths with various cultivars, whose names have been lost in the realm of time and space.There has been interplay amongst the varieties resulting in new shapes and colors of flowers.The long wall behind the main house was planted with D. gratianopolitanus ‘Pixie’ as slips pocketed from offspring Semi’s garden. This must have happened in a fit of orderliness, for all other areas are more along the theme of patchwork.Pixie’s markings are unique.Straddling the middle terrace path are seedlings from D. ‘Firewitch’ whose darker pink color shows up in the offspring……and D. ‘Bath’s Pink’ whose pinking shear edges and lighter hue seem dominant.New darker colors have been introduced but the genetic game of roulette seems to prefer the lighter pinks, with no seedlings of redder shades appearing. So far, anyway, but the attempt continues.Dianthus has colonized the middle terrace. Orange, purple and yellow Erysimums have been added to extend the colorful show both before and after the Dianthus bloom. The large yellow deciduous Azaleas are having an exceptional bloom year this time around. There was a post last year about the Grand Ball held by the fluttering socialites. Click here to read about the Dance Of The Dianthus. Occasionally there will be a stunning result from the wanton partying.
Common Name: cheddar pink, the genus name is from the Greek for *divine flower*
Zone: 4 to 8 (Dave’s garden claims 3 to 9)
Plant Type: Herbaceous perennial
Native Range: None
Height: 0.5 to 1 foot
Spread: 1 to 2 feet
Bloom Time: May – July (late April at Fairegarden, Tennessee)
Bloom Color: Rose pinks, whites, mixes of pinks
Sun: Full sun
Easily grown in average, medium, well-drained soil in full sun, light shade in extremely hot climates. Well-drained soils are essential to prevent crown rot. Plants will usually not survive in wet winter soils. Plants prefer slightly alkaline soils. Cheddar pinks tolerate heat and humidity (as well as some drought) better than most other species of dianthus. Remove spent flowers to promote continued bloom. After flowering is completed, plants may be lightly sheared back to maximize foliage effect as a dense ground cover. (Note: I do not shear these back, hence the seedlings, and my soil is acidic. Well drained, yes, wet winter, yes. They still are thriving despite these condition.) Do not mulch with deep layers of organic matter.
The enticing clove-like scent of this low-growing
ornamental makes it the perfect choice for use in a border
near the walkway. Placement near the walkway allows extra scent as
passersby brush fragrant blossoms. Pert, bright blooms
make pinks a perfect choice for the rock garden or
for planting in wall crevices. The perennial quality creates
a good ground cover on a sunny slope.
No serious insect or disease problems. Crown rot can be a serious problem if plants are grown in wet, poorly drained soils.
The above information was gleaned from a variety of online sources.
*In searching for a synonym for the term *dance* for this year’s post, to differentiate it from last year’s narrative, both *whirling* and *frolic* were deemed suitable to describe the activities of these promiscuous, vibrant, happy flowers.
Many thanks to Katarina of Roses and Stuff for sponsoring Blooming Friday. To see more blooms click here.
(All the photos in this post were taken with the Canon Powershot A720 IS)