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Three Cheers for Nasturtiums


Nasturtiums. Definitely one of our favourite plants. What a lovely, long-lasting display they put on. Their lovely bright, warm tones evoke South America, their country of origin, so no wonder they cheer us up.


Claude Monet, someone who knew a thing or two about colour, had them in his garden. Go there in late summer/early autumn and you’ll see a mass of yellow and orange bordering the main path on both sides. We love the fact that, although Monet planted them this way himself, he only wanted to soften the straight lines of his alley by an edge of small flowers so he planted what he thought were dwarf nasturtiums, but which turned out to be the rambling variety that started to creep over the gravel. Monet like this effect so much he repeated it intentionally every year. Oh, the joy of the accidental gardener. We can relate to that.


We can also relate to the joy of finding out a favourite plant has more to offer than we first realised. In the case of nasturtiums:


  • Obviously, they are beautiful, so informal and cheery and often seen in unexpected places

  • But also, they are a great companion plant. Grow them alongside your beans and the black bean fly is attracted to them not the bean plants (the little beasties shelter from the sun on the back of the nasturtium leaves)

  • AND, they are good enough to eat. Literally. The edible flowers perk up a salad and the seed pods are sometimes called poor man’s capers. You need to pick them from the plants before they fall on to the ground, or go too hard, and pickle them, but it’s well worth the effort.

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