The Indian Pink
The Indian Pink was one of the more beautiful flowers in the Victorian garden. It was known as a biennial as it was usually sown in one summer, to flower in the next summer before it died. But the committed gardener could sow the seed early in a frame, then put the plants out in a bed of rich, light soil in May to have them flower gloriously from July to the end of the season, thus making it an annual. (Hibberd advised that any number of biennials could be planted as annuals in this manner.)
The Indian Pink was introduced into Britain in 1713 by a French missionary named Bignon, soon becoming one of Britain’s most popular garden flowers. The plant would grow in most soils, but excessive moisture was to be avoided.
Information and image taken from F. Edward Hulme and Shirley Hibberd, Familiar Garden Flowers (Cassell, Peter, Galpin and Co.: London: c. 1890), 5 vols.