What do you call them? Dianthus Barbatus, Hardy Pinks, Sweet William, Maiden Pink, Grass Pink, Pheasant's Eye, Chinese Pink, Picotee, Carnation, Clove Pink or some other pet name?
One of the oldest known cultivated plants, pinks were first brought to English gardens in the 1500s.
The ones in these photos came from a Blossoms Garden Center, a local nursery. Three years ago I planted a few 4-inch pots and they have grown into a substantial contribution to the garden.
Other varieties have grey stems and single flowers in red, pink, white.
Of course, they are a close relative of carnations. Many varieties are easy to grow from seed and each year I add another color or type to the garden. Most of the time, they come back in an ever larger stand that can be divided and moved.
They bloom best in full sun, but do OK with some afternoon shade.
If you can use a scented, reliable, old-fashioned flower, grab some of these at your local garden center or at the Bluestone Perennials sale here.