Dianthus

‘Lion Heart’

$6.00

Description

Dianthus ‘Lionheart’ –

Old fashioned blooms filigreed with silver
Dianthus ‘Lionheart’ blooms are beautifully laced and filigreed with silver and pink, on velvety crimson backgrounds. The single fringed blooms sit 15cm. above the tight foliage mat, looking right up at you and wafting the most delicious scent.
‘Lionheart’ is a prolific bloomer through late spring and summer, then repeats in autumn. 
Improved blooming has been created because it is a new cultivar, but retaining all the charm of the old “Picotees”. 

Rich sweet perfume
‘Lionheart’ is richly endowed with sweet perfume.
So a posy of Lionhearts in a small vase can scent the whole room. 
Blooming begins in mid spring and continues through to mid summer.

Hardy groundcover of silver
A flat mat of silver-grey foliage shows off the delightfully coloured and marked flowers to great advantage.
Everything about the plant is neat and compact all year round, because it forms a tight cushion to a width of approx. 40cm.

Where to use in the garden
‘Lionheart’ is excellent in decorative pots. Because the silver foliage mat is so attractive all year round, the superbly scented flowers become your bonus special treat.
Plant ‘Lionheart’ beside a sunny path because of the wonderful perfume and colour. Likewise multiple plants make such a neat and pleasurable garden front edge or groundcover. It is particularly lovely covering the ground around roses.

Hardy, easy & water-wise
If you plant in a Full Sun position, and make sure the soil is well drained, then complete success will be yours.
Drainage can be improved by raising the bed or planting mound, and extra gravel can be mixed into heavier soils to improve the drainage.
A happy Dianthus is guaranteed by a dressing of lime in spring and autumn, unless you already garden on naturally alkaline, lime soils. 
They are very hardy in summer drought periods, as well as frost; and bask in heat. So Dianthus are definitely water-wise choices for a dry hardy garden.

Generous bloomers on lean rations
Dianthus are perfectly suited to seaside garden, windy sites, rocky soil, gravel, sandy or poor soils, as these conditions mimic their native wild habitats.
Consequently most Dianthus prefer to be treated lean and mean and not overfed. Overfeeding will only cause lush foliage and lesser flowering, whereas we desire compact, neat, very silver foliage, and abundant flowering.
Waterlogging will kill them stone dead, so do make sure they are well drained.   

Low maintenance
Perhaps a light trim after flowering, if you wish to tidy up, is the only maintenance.

Kitchen uses
Clove scented petals are deliciously edible and so can be used as a garnish in salads, for flavoring fruit salads, and candied for sweet treats.
You can also use petals to make jams, jellies and cordials, in the same way rose petals are used.
For culinary purposes Dianthus petals should be pulled from the calyx and the bitter white piece at the base of the petal cut off.
Dried petals an essential perfume ingredient for potpourri and scented sachets

Growing:
Height with flowers: 15cm. approx. in flower. The silver foliage mat hugs the ground.
Width: Foliage mound is 40cm. diameter approx..
Position: Full Sun. 
Soil: Perfectly suited to seaside gardens, windy sites, rocky soil, gravel, sandy or poor soils.
Fragrance: Superb. Sweet and spicy.
Frost: Very hardy even in hard frosts.
Growth: Evergreen (or in this case ever-silver) perennial mat.
Beneficial for wildlife: Bees and butterflies are drawn to the flowers like magnets.
Care: Very easy to grow, and little to no maintenance required.
Deer & Rabbit resistant: Rabbits and deer are not particularly attracted to them thank heavens. I might become murderous if they ate mine.
Origin: The name Dianthus means “flower of the gods”, from the Greek words dios for “god” and anthos for “flower”.
Traditional usage: Poor quality beers and wine were flavoured (or disguised) by the addition of perfumed Dianthus petals in former times. Dianthus have also been used over many centuries for traditional herbal medicine in both European and Chinese cultures.   

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