The corner that is the yellow and white garden has been rewarding, with white lupins and bearded iris stealing the show. That will change as the nasturtiums, which have self sown, as I expected, come up thick and fast. I am hoping that they all stay as ‘Milkmaid’ with pale yellow flowers and did not get hybridised with the others in different parts of the garden last year. Fortunately they are easy to pull up if they are the wrong colour.
The occasional rain has made all the planting of annuals a bit easier though I will need to water them in again today.
Plant of the week
This could almost be plant of the month or plant of the year. It is not looking its best but the fact that this pink (dianthus) has survived in a row of pinks that saw many losses over winter, makes it special. ‘Devon Wizard’ is, I think, a Whetman pink and shows that not all modern flowers have poor scent. I brought a plant with me several years ago and propagated it and planted out six plants. The young plants flowered last year and the first flowers this year opened several months ago. The flower stems are shorter than normal because they are overwintered stems but the new flowering shoots are growing taller, making them ideal for cutting. Apart from the bright colour, which may be a bit strong for sensitive souls, the joy of this plant is that they are so very strongly scented. They fragrance the air around them, so much so that you can smell it yards away and when mowing nearby. This has an RHS AGM, which is well deserved. I like old pinks but I have to admit that this is such a strong grower, flowers for so long and is so sweetly scented that, as a garden plant, it is superior to most. As well as being a strong plant, the foliage is quite ‘blue’ and very attractive even when the plant is not covered in blooms. I need to make more and, when I am ready to plant around the formal pond (still not lined) combine it with lavender for a perfume overload.
Many ‘pinks’ in garden centres are short-lived hybrids that are nice for summer pots but are not long-lived. True garden (Allwoodii) pinks like this, are perennial. They are great in the first year, fantastic in the second and then they deteriorate as they get woody at the base. They need to be propagated by cuttings, which are quite easy to root, in summer, as long as you use a really gritty compost (or a compost enhanced with vermiculite or perlite).