The joy of fragrant dianthus
There are many ways that you can add scent to the garden, and last year I played around with adding a beautiful lime green nicotiana which filled the garden with perfume during the warm summer nights. Night scented stock is another wonderful plant to add an extra dimension to dusky sunsets, whilst using a jasmine on the porch or patio is ideal if you want a swathe of white, pumping out nectar smells into the night.
This year I was fortunate enough to be given a dianthus for my birthday. I must admit, I’m not a huge fan of pinks and whilst I have some double petalled pinks providing colour by the back door, I’ve largely overlooked this species. They’re a bit too ‘busy’ for my liking, and fall into my general distaste for plants which looked overly hybridised. However, the reason I first liked this gift was because the flowers reminded me of the sweet williams that I used to grow as a child, giving me a little moment of nostalgia. And, it wasn’t until after dark that I realised the huge benefit of this particular plant.
My mum told me that it was lovely at night, but I hadn’t realised quite how strong this delightful scent was going to be. Planted in a pot by the back door, great clouds of perfume now fill air and particularly on still nights (of which we haven’t had many), the scent filters through the cat flap into the house. Toby, my very damaged and disabled cat, managed to claw his way over the dianthus within days of me first receiving it. However, popped into water, the blooms are still giving me colour and perfume in the house several weeks later.
Though you may not, like myself, be completely enamoured with pinks, they certainly can offer a great fragrance to the garden. If you want a pink with great colour and smell, then I can highly recommend variety’s of ‘Super Trouper’. Planting them in pots is ideal, and they’ll certainly provide you a bouquet of scent through the year’s warmer months.