‘Enfant de Nice’ Heirloom Carnations

Enfant de Nice 1Whoops, there goes the sunshiny feeling. Today I’m nursing a sore throat and a general winter malaise. I’ve drunk all the tea and watched all the Downton but still feel so very…blah. February tends to do that to me, and like clockwork, I start wishing I had the space for that greenhouse I’ve been dreaming about.

Enfant de Nice 2Fortunately, I have loads of photos from the garden last summer which always lend a bit of cheer, since looking at them is a bit transporting to those warmer days. When thinking about what flower I wanted to write about next, these heirloom carnations were the obvious choice to coincide with upcoming Valentine’s Day. Enfant de Nice Carnations bloom in such romantic shades of red, pink and white and oh, the scent. The SCENT! I simply cannot convey the olfactory gorgeousness of these flowers. Forget what you know about carnations because these are not like those grocery store varieties. They are the real deal: bred in France (where they might know a thing or two about fragrance) and cultivated for generations. And guess what? They are shockingly easy to start from seed.

Enfant de Nice 3Take a look at these and imagine you just opened the freshest jar of cloves. Pretty awesome, right? My seeds were purchased through Renee’s Garden and if you follow the packet for sowing, it’s a piece of cake. Start them early enough in spring and you’ll have blooms that summer–all summer, in fact. They didn’t stop until the hard frost put an end to their shenanigans. When I was a little girl, Carnations were my favorite flower and this collection reminded me why I loved them so much!

Enfant de Nice 4

8 thoughts on “‘Enfant de Nice’ Heirloom Carnations

  1. You are so bad. Just when I think I have enough seeds..now this.. I definitely will be giving this carnation a try.. just for the scent alone. Now I have to figure out where to plant it. Thanks 🙂

  2. Do you have any tips for their care once they are established? I have one from Annies annuals that I bought two years ago that I’m just now trying to clean up and care for it. Am I supposed to cut down the bushy green tops of each base coming from the ground or just leave it as the bushy mound it is? I’m having a hard time trying to find real growing tips for these heirloom ones that go deeper than just deadheading. Lovely pics!

    1. Hi Alicia, I found that pinching them back helped them to branch and not get so lanky. This was done right from the start and continued during the flowering season although I did get a bit lazy there toward the end of summer and just let them go. 😉 Unfortunately, I only have this one summer of growing these so I can’t offer any additional insight but have you seen this article? Lots of tips for growing carnations that might help you. Thanks for visiting!

  3. Carnations have a bum rap for being tacky and cheap (thanks, 1980s!). Good work rehabilitating their reputation ;). They are GORGEOUS.

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