Think about the nasturtium… a cheerful little soul, persistent, sometimes very annoying but in addition considerably shy at instances. Since sowing the primary seeds into the veg patch ten years in the past, my backyard has by no means been with out them. The sight of the flowers brightens my day (and generally my salad plate). This yr I’ve grown an absolute corker – meet Bloody Mary. (No, not the cocktail.)
Her pink tinged buds open to a transparent yellow with splashes of deep blood crimson – fabulous in itself – however, because the flowers mature, the petals change color! Will they be pink, crimson, speckled … or keep yellow? My favorite is the deep wine crimson that some change to simply earlier than setting seed.
Even the seeds are fantastically striped… though that one was nipped off to encourage extra flowers; there will likely be time to gather the seeds later.
At first I assumed this specific nasturtium may be a compact selection so grew it subsequent to my Cherry Falls bush tomato within the raised Veg Trug mattress; not so, as I’ve found. She has gently lowered one stem over the perimeters to discover new territory and twined herself companionably by the tomatoes with not an aphid in sight.
The primary nasturtiums appeared within the veg patch after an opportunity remark from an area competitors choose that my backyard was “very inexperienced” – stated in a means that conveyed his disapproval on the lack of brashly colored bedding crops. That stung, “What’s improper with inexperienced” I countered however that remark began my search to study extra about edible flowers for my meals rising area.
Seeds for a creamy white (Milkmaid) and a luxurious deep darkish crimson (Black Velvet) had been duly purchased. I wasn’t satisfied about consuming the crops (that got here later with nasturtium pesto) however reasoned that they served a twin objective of including color and could be helpful as a sacrificial plant in attracting aphids away from different crops. (A pleasant thought however I’ve by no means discovered them to be very environment friendly at this – any aphids will colonise all crops and never selectively select nasturtiums.)
Since then I’ve grown Empress of India, Blue Pepe (small with blue tinted leaves and crimson flowers), and salmon child within the veg patch. Within the salad backyard final yr Ladybird Rose had her second, solely to get replaced by Child Orange this yr. Each have been effectively behaved and never trailed in every single place.
However the nasturtium that has completely captivated me this yr along with her altering look is Bloody Mary. She was a brand new seed in Mr Fothergill’s vary final yr they usually had been type sufficient to ship me a pack.