Monday, April 04, 2016

C is for Carnations

C is for Carnations
Pink Carnation, © B. Radisavljevic
Carnations are among my favorite flowers. I love their scent, and Mom always had them in her garden, so I grew up with them. I have written plenty about calendula on other sites, and  I couldn't find my catmint photos until after I had already decided that for the purposes of this AtoZchallenge, C is for carnations. 

Mom loved carnations. So when I inherited her home in 2005, I wanted to plant some here. She had a lovely rose garden in the back yard, but had never planted any flowers in front for the neighbors to enjoy. I wanted to see some color there, so I started propagating new plants from my home herb garden and moving them in. Carnations add color to the flowerbed in winter and early spring before it gets hot.

C is for Carnations
Swallowtail Butterfly on Pink Carnations,  © B. Radisavljevic

Carnations are easy to propagate. I believe the light pink carnations in these photos are the progeny of a root division I originally got from Mom almost fifty years ago. If you pull a section of the plant off near the ground, remove the bottom leaves, plant it in good soil, and keep it watered until established, it will probably grow up to produce flowers. There are more complicated ways to do it, but I didn't find out about them until I had already been successfully propagating carnations from cuttings for several years. This swallowtail butterfly didn't care that I hadn't propagated my carnations by the book.

In 2013 I decided I wanted to grow a darker carnation, so I bought one from a local nursery. It's pretty crowded by other plants now, and I'm hoping I have time to remedy that soon, but I have gotten a few of the dark pink variegated carnation flowers from this plant.

C is for Carnations

As you  can see, the calendula seedling (left) that sprang up in front of the darker carnation almost looks like it's where the carnation came from. Instead it's helping  the carnation to hold up its head.

As you can see, I sometimes can't find time to  tend my garden as I wish I could, so it sometimes does as it pleases. When I compare it to the monotonous green shrubs that used to dominate this flowerbed, though, I'm happy that when nature takes its course I have the color I do now.

How does your garden grow? Are you growing any  carnations?

If you enjoyed this post about carnations, why not pin it to your Pinterest board?

C is for Carnations


Claire Annette said...

Your carnations are beautiful. I've never tried growing them.
I'm sure you can grow just about anything in SLO.
I live in the CA central valley and everything is beautiful now because of the rain. My other home is in Cayucos but we grow plants that don't require much water.
Stopping by to say "Hi" on the a to z challenge. I love your theme.

kimmie stuckinscared said...

What a delightful post, Barbara. A little bit of Summer in your images, which are stunning by the way.
Your Carnations are gorgeous... they remind me of my Nan :)

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