Old fashioned garden pinks, cottage pinks, garden pinks. We sell a range of heritage varieties, new hybrids and species Dianthus. In addition to the list here, we are growing on many other old varieties, so if you are looking for a particular plant, drop us and email and we may have it in small numbers. Scroll down to browse the list.
The Greeks called the Pink, 'The Flower of Zeus' or 'The Divine Flower' and the word Dianthus is derived from Dios (God) and Anthos (Flower). For hundreds of years, some varieties were known as carnations because the flowers were fashioned into coronets and used during festivals. In medieval art the 'pink' symbolises divine love and signifies that a lady was engaged to be married.
Old names for Dianthus include Gillyflower (possibly a corruption of 'July Flower'), and 'Sops in Wine', due to the flowers being used to flavour wine.
Despite having been such a favourite since Tudor times, it is sad that so many old pinks should have been lost to us and are no longer available. We are doing our best to preserve the old varieties we can find and if you have a variety which we don't stock, from which we could take a few cuttings, we'd love to hear from you.
All Dianthus like a hot, sunny, open position in well-drained soil. Light shade is tolerated, provided they get several hours of sun light. They are drought resistant once established.
PLEASE NOTE: unlike some mail order nurseries, our Dianthus are not sold as tiny plug plants (rooted cuttings) but are established plants in 9cm pots. You can plant them in your garden as soon as you receive them, or leave them in their pots until you are ready to do so.
You can read an article we were invited to write for the Rare Plant Fair website here.