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Lawn & Garden

Plant of the Week: Thrift

Early spring perennials are such a welcome sight! One of my favorites has always been “Thrift” also known as “Sea Pinks” or “Sea Thrift”. This small unassuming, evergreen, perennial, sits so pretty like a tuft of deep, green, perfectly mounded grass, throughout the winter season, and then when spring comes around the plant wakes and sends up what I call “lollipop” blooms.

Perennial Thrift is available in several shades of pink to a creamy, “Alba” white, all of which are a lovely addition to any garden. The mounding, evergreen, growth habit makes “Sea Pinks” a great border plant at a garden edge, along a walkway or path.

“Thrift” prefers a well-drained soil, a sunny spot in northern plantings and partial sun in southern gardens, but most of all “Thrift” thrives by the sea. Hardy in zones 4-8, with many varieties to choose from these little gems are deer resistant as well. 

I recently hiked the Cliffs of Moher; the three-hour guided tour was a stunning walk through farmlands and along ancient paths that wound along the coastline of County Clare, Ireland, 750 feet above the ocean, it was totally amazing!

Clumps of “Thrift” dotted the rugged paths; the hardy little plant thrived on the stone cliffs and sprung out from between boulders, loving the ocean spray and the mist that engulfed it. The pink balls waved their tiny heads in the blasts of Atlantic winds without a worry, such a sturdy little plant!

It was a magical adventure, seeing the “Thrift” growing in its native habitat was awe-inspiring! I was truly humbled by the power of the ocean and by the magnitude of the Cliffs of Moher, this was a once in a lifetime experience that will be brought back to me every time I see “Sea Pinks”.  

Fairy lollipops, which is what I will refer to “Thrift” as now, and forevermore!  Even though I never saw a fairy, I believe that the fairies are there in the green, green pastures, dancing on the rocks and hiding among the “lollipops”, there is bit of magic in every blade of grass that grows there, I could feel it!

Plant a wee bit of magic in your garden, stop by your local Home Depot and pick up some “Sea Pinks, Thrift, or if you prefer “Fairy Lollipops” and enjoy these enchanting little plants. 


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Posted 2018-05-15T18:05:01+0000  by Maureen_HD_BOS Maureen_HD_BOS
Hello Maureen,
Should I plant the seeds indoors first or directly in the garden?
Thank you.
Posted 2018-05-17T04:09:05+0000  by Azalia

Greetings Azalia,

Thank you for the question!

“Sea Pinks”, perennial Armeria, seeds should be soaked in water for 6 hours before planting. Sow the seeds into seed starter filled, peat pots and keep them in a warm: 60-70 degree setting, germination will take about 2 weeks. Once the pots are lush and full, transplant outdoors. Plant the Thrift in a well-drained, sunny area, remember they are a cool season bloomer, the new plants should bloom in about 12 weeks, the plant may not bloom until the cooler autumn months…if all goes right.

I really do suggest that you go find the established plant at your local Home Depot, starting plants from seed is great, but sometimes picking up a mature plant is just easier, less time consuming and is instant gratification.

If you compare the cost of seeds, seed started and peat pots along with providing a controlled environment, the time and space that you will need to devote to your seed trays…I think you will find that picking up a pot of, “Armeria- Sea Pinks-Thrift”, at your local Home Depot, is just the best scenario.  I am sorry to say that I did not see Armeria available, on-line, through the plant catalog for Home Depot.

“Sea Pinks”, Armeria, “Thrift”, is defiantly worth the hunt, the sturdy, little, evergreen perennial, is worth every effort, either by seed, or seeking out the plant, “Thrift” (Fairy Lollipop) is an enchanting addition to any landscape.

Let me know if you find the “Sea Pinks”, I would love to see and image of your garden, and just where you tucked the “Thrift” in.

I was in Ireland just before the blooms totally popped open, the presence of the "Thrift" was abundant, I imagine the masses of "Sea Pinks" in bloom is positively stunning. 

Be well and plant loads,



Posted 2018-05-17T14:30:54+0000  by Maureen_HD_BOS
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