Dianthus Growing Guide
Dianthus is a highly diverse genus of flowers that all share a range of charming characteristics sure to recommend them to any garden. Notable for their heavy clove-like scent and their serrated, frilly edges (the name ‘pinks’ comes not from the colour, but from the familiar pattern cut by a pair of pinking shears). Blooming in shades ranging from lilac to deep pink, dianthus is the perfect flower for bringing both early and late splashes of colour to your garden, blooming first in the spring and again in the autumn. Alpine varieties of dianthus are hardy enough to cope with cold and fast-draining soil but do keep in mind that all dianthus require sunlight, not coping terribly well with shade.
A mainstay of British gardens for some time, the popularity of these flowers derives not just from their bewitching scent, but also from their ability to attract butterflies and bees, bringing some palpable life to your garden.
The dianthus has a noble history, the name literally translates, in Greek, to “flower of the Gods” and these frilly, spicy smelling cousins of the carnation were indeed revered in ancient Greek and Roman times, being used in ceremonial garlands and frequently depicted in art. There is a range of myths explaining how they came to be prominent, and it would seem that they have never lost that high reputation.