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Graham Rice's New Plants Blog

Graham Rice Garden writer and plantsman Northamptonshire and Pennsylvania

Editor-in-Chief of the RHS Encyclopedia of Perennials; writer for a wide range of newspapers and magazines including The Garden and The Plantsman; member of the RHS Herbaceous Plant Committee and Floral Trials Committee; author of many books on plants and gardens.

  • Date Joined: 18 Oct 2006

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Dianthus Memories: Plant of the Year runner-up

Posted by Graham Rice on 06 Jun 2012 at 04:58 PM

Chelsea Plant Of The Year runner-up. Image ©RHSLast summer at the National Plant Show, Dianthus Memories ('WP11 GWE04') won the award for the Best New Plant Introduction. Having won the top award at a trade show, recently it was a deserving runner-up in Chelsea’s Plant of the Year competition.

The journey began eight years ago when Whetman Pinks, the world’s top breeders of new garden pinks, dissatisfied with the faults of the old cottage garden favourite ‘Mrs Sinkins’, decided it was time to create an up-to-date replacement. At the Chelsea Flower Show last week Caroline Bourne, of Whetman Pinks, explained.

“There’s a very famous Dianthus variety called ‘Mrs Sinkins’ which was raised in 1863 the Master of the Slough workhouse. At Whetman Pinks 150 years later we’re raised a modern version of ‘Mrs Sinkins’ compatible with 21st century demands.

“This plant, bred in 2004, has undergone extensive trialling to provide us with a plant that is pleasing to the eye, fills our noses with beautiful fragrance, is easy and satisfying to grow and repeat flowering. It’s versatile, it can be grown in pots, containers, borders, or up the garden path. It’s repeat flowering, naturally compact, about 12in/30cm high, it’s extremely hardy to frost and heat, drought tolerant, easy to grow in a well-drained sunny situation.

“Most importantly, to me at last, it has the most fantastic scent, hurling out its fragrance at me stimulating the senses. This has very often been overlooked in modern breeding. Why the name Memories? Until Dec 2013 Whetman Pinks is donating all the royalties on this variety to the Alzheimer’s Society.”

You can order plants of Dianthus Memories from Whetman Pinks. And look out for it at your local garden centre.


Miranda Hodgson said:

I'm very fond of 'Mrs Sinkins' but will certainly be on the look out for this plant. If the scent is as good, then it'll be a lovely addition to my garden!

on 08 Jun 2012 at 10:33 AM