YELLOW is the one principal colour that eludes the pink, the exquisitely scented petite version of the carnation.
Well, perhaps not exactly, for there is one species of the 300 in the family of dianthus – its botanical title – that’s a pure sulphur yellow. That’s why it is often known as the yellow pink.
Its name – Dianthus knappii. It hails from Hungary and the Czech Republic, grows to around 12-14in high, the serrated blooms are borne in clusters in June and each one often has a mauve spot at its base. It’s a pretty thing, but no scent and, to my mind not a real pink as we know them.
Yet – and it’s a big Yet – the breeders have so far failed to produce a hybrid that’s both yellow and a true pink . . . if you see what I mean.
The pink’s “big brother,” the carnation, does include shades of pure yellow and creamy-yellow, but again the elusive shade hasn’t yet been transferred to its tinier relative.
So we soldier on with the colours within reach and enjoy pinks for what they offer – that glorious clove-like fragrance, long-lasting flowers for months on end, and oh-so-easy to grow in the garden or in pots on the patio.
Plant specialists Woolmans have selected three new varieties for 2019. Much-loved and admired in gardens over the years, the humble pink has to be the best-known of the hybrid dianthus.
Tom Stimpson of Woolmans comments: “We were so impressed by these new varieties, not only for their delightful fragrance, but also for their naturally well-branched habit and incredibly long flowering time – our trial plants were still blooming in December!”
Woolmans brand new trio, pictured top, are Bridal Crown, with pure white fluffy double flowers, Pink Ruffles with rich double pink blooms and Red Carpet producing semi-double bright cerise flowers. All are hardy perennials and will reach 12in high.
They can be ordered as a collection of six young plants – two of each – for £11.95, with a saving of a fiver if ordering two packs. Plants will be despatched from mid-April.
⏩⏩➡» To order Woolmans Chrysanthemum & Ornamental Plant Catalogue, open www.woolmans.com or phone 0845 6589137.