About my garden

Wednesday 29 October 2014

Nasturtium - jewels of Autumn

I sow a few Nasturtiums every year but they also seed about by themselves so I have quite an abundance of them now. I usually buy a cheap packet somewhere as an extra to the seeds I plan and order in January. After all, there is not much else to do in the garden at that time of year or if there is, you don't want to go out! 
I can't resist the bright colours though I also like the creamy ones too.
The Nasturtiums come up quietly rather later than some seedlings and grow away unobtrusively until late summer and Autumn when suddenly they burst into flower with the most wonderful colours. 

Notice the caterpillar here. For some reason this year they have not been destroyed by caterpillars or blackfly. That is the downside of course, and some people grow them as a sacrificial crop to attract the butterflies away from their brassicas. Often some of my plants are long gone by this time but sometimes they come back for a second wind.
This year they have made huge plants growing over beds and paths.

These marbled leaves are lovely and, of course you can eat them too. I don't think I sowed these this year but then again, maybe I did. 
This year I have been cutting and using them in vases. They last a few days before shrivelling up but I pick some autumn leaves, seed heads and grasses and put them all in a vase. When the flowers go over I just whip them out and put in a few more.

The bright, velvety flower are all the more precious at this time of year as you know their days are numbered. They'll be cut down at the first frost and I'll be back to looking at seed packets and planning for next year.

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