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Graham Rice on Trials

Updates on trials and awards from the Royal Horticultural Society by Graham Rice

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Dwarf pinks trial - and Pinks and Carnations Open Day

Posted by Graham Rice on 10 Jun 2009 at 05:06 PM

Dianthus 'India Star'. Image: ©GardenPhotos.comThe dwarf pinks are coming into their peak now and the scent and colour is just captivating. But it was intriguing seeing the dwarf pinks a week or so back as they were getting into their stride. We expect pinks to flower all summer these days but exactly how they go about it makes a big difference to their impact.

I noticed that some, like ‘India Star', ‘Red Star' (both of which already have AGMs) and ‘Starburst' simply produce new flowers just above the old ones - they look great. But others produce a flush of flowers all on one level, then the next crop of flowering shoots grows through them to come into bud 15-23cm/6-9in higher while the first flowers are still colourful - ruining the display. These included ‘Stardust', ‘Passion', ‘Slap ‘n' Tickle', ‘Sugar Plum', ‘Tickled Pink', ‘Show Girl' and ‘Romance'.Dianthus 'Show Girl'. Image: ©

Over the rest of the summer it‘ll be interesting to see how these characteristics develop amongst the twenty three entries to the trial. And there's a also a trial of almost fifty more traditional garden pinks so don't miss those.

And coming up soon is a great opportunity to talk to the experts about these invaluable plants. The Carnation and Pinks Open Day will be held at Wisley on Thursday 17 June 2009 to coincide with the second day of the British National Carnation Society Show in the Hillside Events Centre at Wisley.Dwarf pinks trial at the RHS Garden at Wisley. Image: ©Sue Drew/RHS Trials Office

In the morning discuss the trials with membrs of the assessment panel down on the trials field, then in the afternoon listent to three talks by experts on pinks and carnations. And there's the show and Allwoods will be there with plants for sale. Sounds like a great day - and it's free! Just turn up.

And for those of you can't get to Wisley, most of the plants in these trials are also being grown at East Ruston Old Vicarage Garden in Norfolk.



mollyday said:

Pinks are such a favorite of mine, I really should collect them in the future.

The grey foliage, the flowers, the scent - all irresistible.

on 13 Jun 2009 at 02:28 AM

Beth said:

I agree I love pinks and reds they bring out the butifull creative side of my garden

on 13 Jun 2009 at 11:02 AM

Graham Rice said:

And while old varieties have undeniable charm, and often fragrance, modern varieties often have such a very long season of generously produced flowers - and these trials will reveal which really are the best.

on 13 Jun 2009 at 11:56 AM