Dianthus has been grown in gardens for hundreds of years. In Elizabethan times it was known as Gilly Flower and today we call the different varieties pinks, carnations and sweet williams. The low growing pinks are perennial flowers which form clumps and increase year by year and so are ideal for rock gardens. To learn more about these flowers read the article below by Amanda which I found on the American Meadows website.
Dianthus is an old garden favorite, with spicy clove fragrance and colorful notched petals, illuminating gardens since Elizabethan times.
There is a wide variety of Dianthus, also known as pinks, maiden pinks and carnations. These are similar in style to the carnations you buy in local florist shops. The main difference is they are smaller and some have different textures. From small, brilliant-hued pinks to the full-sized powder-puff carnations, they add distinct color to the garden and make for elegant arrangements.
Most dianthus bloom pink, red and white with notched petals. The low-growing varieties are great for rock gardens and the taller varieties are ideal for fragrant summer bouquets. Dianthus looks best planted in the front border of the garden, which allows their delicate blooms to be seen easily and easily accessible for cutting.
See more at American Meadows