Pink flower of thrift

Wild growing thrift

Thrift (Armeria maritima) was one of the first plants that I grew in my first garden and I have loved it ever since.¬† It is a delightful, tough little perennial that¬† grows as a small clump of tufting, grassy leaves with white, pink or red button flowers on slender stems in spring and summer. Their ideal home is rocky well-drained ground near the coast but they are adapted to a range of different climates and will do well anywhere except in regions with high humidity. So plants grow beautifully in cold and warm temperate regions but are not much good in the sub-tropics and certainly won’t survive in the tropics.

Wild pink thrift

Thrift growing near the sea

Plant several clumps as a low border to a garden bed or path, with 20cm in between, or pop into pockets of soil in a rockery or grow in small pots or window boxes. New plants are grown from seed planted in autumn that has been soaked in water overnight, or by dividing an existing plant. Flowers attract bees, butterflies and other insects.

Also known as Ladies’ Cushion and Sea Pink, thrift is a native of England and was grown in gardens in Tudor times, especially in knot gardens and as an edging for other plants. In the language of flowers thrift means sympathy. Just writing about thrift today has made me remember that I no longer have it in the garden, and as it is autumn I’m going to find some seed and plant it now.

Dark pink flower

A darker flowered cultivar Splendens