The dwarf cousins of the Border Pink,and Sweet William are planted in rockeries to form either neat cushions or spreading carpets of grey or green grassy . The foliage is studded in early summer with sweet-smelling -pink is the usual colour but other shades are available. There is even a yellow Rockery Pink – D. knappii. As a general rule the Rockery are lime lovers and clay haters, flourishing in a sunny, open situation. They have many uses – covering walls, filling troughs, decorating crazy paving as weil as adorning the rock garden. The species can be raised from but the named varieties must be propagated from .
VARIETIES: Our native Maiden Pink (D. deltoides) is an old favourite. It is a carpeting plant – height 6 in., spread 9 in.
Flowering period: June-September. The flowers are white, pink or red – for maximum colour choose the brilliant crimson variety ‘Flashing Light’. Another popular species is the Cheddar Pink (D. caesius), which has now been given the tongue-twisting name of D. gratianopolitanus. This is the wide-spreading carpeter of the group – height 8 in., spread 2 ft.
Flowering period: May-July. The foliage is narrow and grey. For large flowers, choose the Alpine Pink (D. alpinus). Although the blooms are more than 1 in. across, the compact cushion of foliage is small – height 4 in., spread 6 in.
Flowering period: May-August. A beautiful plant, but it rapidly dies out if theis not perfect. D. neglectus forms a neat cushion 6 in. high and 6 in. across, bearing flowers in July and August. It is an oddity – this hates lime and the petals are pink or crimson above with a biscuit-coloured reverse.
SITE AND SOIL: Thrives in light, chalky soil in full sun.
PROPAGATION: Sowunder glass in spring or plant non-flowering cuttings in a cold frame in summer.