Dianthus (Garden Pinks)
This large family of sun-loving, easy-care bloomers includes compact forms as well as and taller forms. Because they are tolerant of cool weather, perennial dianthus are reliable spring bloomers that will, if it doesn't get too hot, continue to bloom through most of the summer. All dianthus have pretty blue-green foliage that looks terrific paired with their deliciously fragrant pink, white, rose, yellow, red, or bi-colored flowers. Butterflies love the nectar-rich blooms, too. Use in mixed containers or plant them in drifts or clumps in your flower border or rock garden. Dianthus is also deer resistant. Plant them early in the season so they can become well established before hot weather strikes. They like rich, well drained soil and you may have to stake taller members of the family to keep them from toppling. Dianthus will struggle if planted in wet soil.