Thursday, May 31, 2012

In the Pinks

I'm sure the sight was unusual, but our neighbors have probably come to know that I occasionally do strange and silly things.  We have three compact clumps of Dianthus on the east side of our home.  I love the spicy smell of their tiny carnation flowers.  In order to get a good whiff of them, I crouched down, with rear upturned and stuck my nose down into the blooms.  As goofy as I surely looked, the experience was worth the embarrassment, for the small blossoms emitted a magnificent scent that transported me back to my childhood.  We had Dianthus in our backyard when I was growing up and Mom always picked bouquets for our house.  We didn't call them Dianthus, however.  We called them Pinks (others call them Cottage Pinks).  Perhaps they were called Pinks because the little flowers have frilled edges that look as if pinking shears shaped them. Or maybe it's because they're frequently pink in color (although they can vary from white to red to purple).  I read that the color pink reportedly got its name from these perennials.  All that matters to me is that the smell of Dianthus (or Pinks or Cottage Pinks) is so beautiful that I'll risk embarrassment again, just to have the chance to take in their wonderful scent!

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