I have been shuffling through old photos of the garden (4 years), and it's nice to see how much has changed. I got this dianthus (common name: pinks) from Home Depot in 2008. It was supposed to be a hardy perennial that could tolerate poor soil, and was said to be fine in our zone (zone 5). I believe it is dianthus 'Neon Star.'
As you can see, it did well that summer.
I just now realized it never came back. So what happened? For one thing, it might be more of a zone 6 plant really. Or perhaps it just needed more care with mulching. In any case, it's a curious feeling to stumble across this pretty little ghost plant. It's like finding $20 in my coat pocket that I'd forgotten I had. Only I don't have it.