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  • Dianthus

    (Pink, Sweet william, Carnation)
    Caryophyllaceae

    The commonly encountered garden varieties are European plants of garden antiquity grown for their attractive, often perfumed, flowers which pick well. They are on the whole easily grown but demand excellent drainage and plenty of sun and are ideally suited to poor, dryer, well drained, alkaline soils. They are often encountered overgrown and root bound, tucked away in the shade, to which they are intolerant, and once purchased are good naturedly smothered with too much "good" garden practice.


    Pinks are known to all by name, which they lent to the colour, if not in person. Classic perennials of English cottage gardens. They have extensive root systems and most varieties offered are quite hardy in Perth with a good drink once a week over summer. They invariably have narrow, glaucous foliage resistant to dry air and high light intensity.

    Sweet williams (Dianthus barbatus) are biennials that will often persist for several years and typically have tall stems bearing clusters of small fringed flowers. They have broader leaves and require a bit softer conditions than the Pinks. The Nigrescens group seem the hardiest of the bunch and can become quite shrubby, potted colour varieties, often sold by the punnet, are worth growing but usually amount to little more than tender annuals.

    Carnations (Dianthus caryophyllus). Those developed for the cut flower market are mostly ugly plants needing support and are best left to the dedicated enthusiast or florist. Better garden plants are the seldom seen border carnations, they have the same beautiful flowers of the florist types but are less gawky, don't need staking, are often perfumed and are almost as hardy as the pinks.
    • japonicus   CAG01001
      Height30cm
      Width40cm
      Flowering SeasonSp - Su
      WaterL - M
      LightSun
      CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE

      A truly remarkable biennial, grown as much for it's unique form as it's flowers.
      Rosettes of wax-like, dark green, 2cm wide, lance shaped leaves form mounds that appear completely at home in the otherwise exposed locations they prefer to inhabit.
      Large heads of small, five petalled, blue pink flowers cover the plant from late spring, only after your garden has been graced by the foliage for a full year.

      Found growing on cliffs by the sea in Japan, it has proved extremely tolerant of excessive exposure and reflected heat, as well as sea spray. Ideal for gravel gardens, on the edge (or in the cracks) of paving or on barren sand. Self seeds nicely in any seemingly inhospitable place, the delightful little seedings are easily removed as they grow larger. Extremely tough. Likes good drainage.

    • japonicus f. albiflorus   CAG02302
  • Verbascum

    (Mulleins)
    Scrophulariaceae

    • creticum   CAG01015
      Height1.2m
      Width40cm
      Flowering SeasonSp - Au
      WaterL - M
      LightSun
      Verbascum creticum
      CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE

      An unusual, annual Verbascum, from the island of Crete, as the specific epithet implies. The plant initially consists of a quick growing rosette, upto 40cm across, of somewhat glaucous, wavy margined, highly textured, arrow shape leaves. At any time, from spring through to autumn, tall spires, bearing five petalled flowers, the largest we have seen on any Verbascum, are produced. Each flower is neatly divided in half, the top being custard yellow, the bottom half paler cream, the upper petals in addition, carry a pair of large burgundy eyes, that appear to be stenciled on.
      Should self seed in well drained soil.
      Very tough.

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