Dianthus / Pinks


We have a range of over 150 heritage, new hybrids and species Dianthus. This range is very labour intensive to maintain and is a very small part of our business. We maintain it because we love the plants, not because it makes us any money! Unfortunately this means that in practice we propagate Pinks as and when we can, and consequently we rarely have more than a couple of dozen varieties available at any particular time. The widest availability tends to be in late summer and autumn. We keep the full list online for interest.

To filter the list to see only the plants available now, click here.

Old fashioned pinks, cottage pinks, old world pinks, garden pinks. 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 x 10cm 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.

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