There were a variety of ‘pinks’ for the Victorian gardener to choose – the Cheddar pink, the wild clove (the ‘castle pink’ of poetry), the pheasant’s-eye pink and the Deptford pink. They were a somewhat old-fashioned flower, but they flowered more readily than did the ‘show’ pinks. Show pinks were richly and regularly marked with broad bands of colour on each petal, but border pinks were irregularly marked or of one colour only.
Both show and border pinks had a lovely spicy fragrance.
The best way for a gardener to guarantee a good crop of pinks in his garden was to sow the seed in sandy loam in April and raise the young stock in frames. They did not need much water, but did need air and light. When large enough to handle, they should be planted out in a border of fine soil in a sunny position at about three inches apart. Then, once grown on further and starting to crowd one another, they needed to be replanted into their desired position (generally this was done in September).
Information and image taken from F. Edward Hulme and Shirley Hibberd, Familiar Garden Flowers (Cassell, Peter, Galpin and Co.: London: c. 1890), 5 vols.