Dianthus, the annual pink, is familiar sight, but when a pink has uniformly good large crimson flowers, it is indeed worth noting. Pinks are easily grown from early spring-sown seed. One of our annual plants lived overwinter. This year we can try the new near-hardy dianthus Doubles in red, pink and maroon shades.
Gazanias are odd little daisy-like flowers from the South African veldt. They may be grown as annuals in cold sections of the country or as pot plants. The blooms are golden yellow to golden orange with a dark center and a distinct dash at each petal’s base, like a thread or ribbon run through it.
Good for cutting is the blue laceflower, Trachymene coerulea (Didiscus coeruleus). Another name for it is blue Queen Anne’s lace. Although the blue variety is smaller than the familiar white form, both belong to the carrot family. Seed of the blue laceflower sown in May will bloom from July until frost. Sections of the country which have cool summers suit it admirably.
Also happiest where heat is not extreme is Clarkia elegans, a native North American annual found in the mountainous regions of California, where it became known as the Rocky Mountain garland. The Indians knew and treasured the wild form known as “Little Red Maids.” The name clarkia was given it in honor of Captain William Clark of the famed Lewis and Clark expedition to the West. Named hybrids are now available in several colors.
When clarkia matures it reaches a height of 2 feet or so, with blooms which remind one of flowering almond blossoms, double stocks or tiny roses. These open at each leaf joint as the spire grows upward. Each slim stem may be cut when the fir9t bud opens and will continue to bloom in water until the last bud unfolds. Poor soil is a necessity. For good bloom on pot plants, roots should be pot-bound. Seed should be sown early, but plants will not bloom until warm weather.