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Allan designs and plants flowering gardens in Montreal, Zone 5 [USDA Zone 4] .

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Dianthus Carthusianorum: a Little Known, Hard-to-find, but Hard to Beat Perennial 

Nature has given me a challenge. I have discovered another unusual perennial and I need to learn how to use it effectively in the garden. The nursery that stocks this plant recommends it as a “must” for the English garden look. However, incorporating it into a garden composition will not be an easy task.

What sets this plant apart from all other Dianthus is its relatively tall flower stalks. Small but extremely intense fuchsia-pink blooms sit on top of thin reed-like stems arching 28 inches high. This is the tallest Dianthus that I have seen so far and finding appropriate companion plants for it has become a challenge.

It is clear from studying the slender stalks that this perennial will need substantial looking companion plants to fill the negative space between its stems. Some suggest that Campanula latifolia Brentwood would be an ideal choice because the intense purple of its flowers running up and down its stalks creates a richly colored backdrop. Others say that Brentwood is too coarse looking. I will need to do further research and some old-fashioned experimenting to discover my options. Perennials with a rich shade of purple either in foliage or in flowers will be considered and I will experiment with white Liatris, Veronica Sunny Borders Blue and Salvia Caradonna.

This perennial blooms from July to September in zones 5a to 9b in full sun. Like most unusual perennials it is not easy to find. I found mine at Jardins Michel Corbeil in Ste Eustache, Quebec.

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Reader Comments (1)

really nice blog..!

August 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterUrban Gardener

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