My Mom and Dad always referred to Carnations as PINKS. We had a border of them in our little back yard and they had the most divine smell you can imagine.

Some of the Carnations we buy in the store today have no smell at all. Maybe they are different hybrids but these « Pinks » were powerful. The perfume was better than anything from a bottle.

The smell was spicy and a bit like a clove which explains another name they have Gilly Flowers derived from the French word for clove giroflée.

Fans of Brideshead Revisited will remember that when Charles Ryder arrived in Oxford his apartment was on the ground floor and beneath the window was a border full of Gilly Flowers.


Pinks are officially known as Dianthus which from the Greek means Gods Flowers (Dios Anthos). They got the name Pink not because of their color but because they look as though they had been cut with pinking shears.

Regardless of name they are beautiful and they remind most of my Dads second cousin Davy.

My Dad was an only child but he lived in the small village of Seapatrick along with a whole collection of family members. All the parents worked in the local linen mill and everyone was poor as Church mice.

Hardship, especially during the depression was worst in those who had large families as was the case for Davy. Truthfully I’m no longer sure how many they were but it was at least eight.

Davy was quite deaf and in those days of hard times hearing aids were unheard off but Davy did very well going on to do beautiful work as a carpenter.

I got to know him as a child. He was very gentle, talked only a little but had the softest brown eyes you’ve ever seen. It was almost as though he talked with his eyes.


He never married and lived with his younger brother and his wife. His great passion was flowers and each time we went to the village he’d take us to the garden. Here we’d find his trophy collection not just of Pinks but ever imaginable type of rose and his most prized treasure of all his Dahlias.


Each year these beauties seemed to get bigger and bigger until they quite honestly became the size of dinner plates. When we’d leave he’d send us home with arms full of them.


The last time I saw Davy was about forty years ago just before he moved on to the big garden in the sky. He left a mark on my life and I’m sure that of many others with his great bunch of goodness; contentment, gentleness and generosity.

Blessing #450 – Sweet Scented Soul

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