Gillyflowers in bloom

Gillyflowers, Dianthus 'Bath's Pink'
The gillyflowers are in bloom.

Gillyflowers, you ask? Aren't those Dianthus, you ask politely?

To you, maybe, but when I read that another common name for Dianthus is gillyflower, I decided that's the name for me.

I got my starts of this particular gillyflower, which is Dianthus 'Bath's Pink' from the Hoosier Gardener. I remember she dropped off a paper bag full of these plants with very little roots but a promise to just plant them and they would grow.

And grow they have.

And they smell wonderful.

They do prefer full sun and in my garden are growing along the edge of the patio where just below the soil there are all kinds of rocks. They don't seem to mind a bit.  They actually prefer it a bit on the dry side,

They are even growing fairly well in the part shade under the honey locust tree, though with a little less bloom than the gillyflowers in full sun.
Gillyflowers in part shade.
When I first planted the 'Bath's Pink', I thought it would be really fun to have other kinds of gillyflowers planted with them, to create a mosaic of all different kinds of gillyflowers in bloom, in all shades of pink from pale pink to rosy pink to almost reddish-pink.

So off to the garden center I went to buy different varieties. And then I planted them up along the edge of the patio with 'Bath's Pink'.

Where are all the other gillyflowers, besides 'Bath's Pink', you ask?

Another variety of gillyflower amongst 'Bath's Pink'

Thank you for asking.

Most of the other varieties have been drowned out by 'Bath's Pink', but there are a few left, trying their best to keep from being overtaken by the waves of 'Bath's Pink'.

My first thought as I saw these other gillyflowers was, "I hope they make it".   Then I came to my senses.  I shall move them. Yes, I will dig up and move these other gillyflowers to a location where they can live without the fear of 'Bath's Pink' overtaking them.

After all, it is not as though they have deep tap roots.  They are actually quite shallow rooted and with just the flick of a trowel, I can dig these up and move them to higher ground, away from the waves of 'Bath's Pink'.

Yes, just the flick of a trowel.  You can quote me on that one.


  1. I love the old-fashioned flower names. And gillyflower makes me think of gillyweed from the Harry Potter stories. I've read of whole gardens of pinks, and I've always wanted to see and smell one in full bloom. Thanks for sharing yours! -Beth

  2. I can imagine the lovely scent of your gillyflowers. I used to have these growing out front in full sun. I don't remember what happened to them. HmmmmI can remember that scent though.

  3. I much prefer the name gillyflower to "carnation", which always reminds me of the brandname for horrid powdered milk we were sometimes given as children when the fresh milk had run out. Blech!

  4. This reminds me of a book I read long, long ago with a little girl named Gilly who liked to play in the gillyflowers. Now I can picture what they look like!

    I only wish all my weeds could be moved "with a flick of the trowel":)

  5. So many beautiful flowers in your garden,thanks for inspiring us, Carol!


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