It was 47 degrees this morning, the coolest temperatures we’ve had since May. Overnight, it feels like autumn, with a brisk breeze pulling golden leaves from the black walnut trees in a continual shower. I can feel my “end of the garden season” depression beginning to drift in as well, as I pulled on a warm sweater and actually put on socks for the first time in months. With cup of tea and camera in hand, I headed to the potager determined to savor each of the colorful blooms while they are still available. My normal aversion to red was abated by this cheering “Copper Sunset” nasturtium from Rene Shepherd Seeds. I had hoped it would be more bronzed, and probably won’t plant it next year, but it’s screaming “Look at ME!” was just what I needed this morning.
I’d planted nasturtiums in the summer squash square back in late April, and they’d gotten off to a slow start, then languished in the intense, lengthier than usual heat, but now with the cooler temperatures they are bursting into bloom and expanding. Near the broccoli rabe are the “Peach Melba” variety shown below. Their soft yellow petals are brushed by the fairies with rosy splotches.
I think my very favorite ones of this year’s nasturtiums are these “Tip Top Apricot” which continued to bloom profusely throughout the heat, even though they were planted in a container on top of the fence railing in full sun. I’ll plant lots more of these next spring. I just love the color, and the subtle shading darker in the centers.
There were some “Jewel Mix” nasturtiums that I planted in a large tub containing my lemon tree. Although the nasturtiums overwhelmed the little tree, they provided a nice visual focal point at the end of the main path as one entered the garden, although the ones on the north side of the pot thrived, while the ones on the south side faded during the heat.
I especially liked the bright orange ones, of course, but these bright gold ones were also nice.
Much cheered by the nasturtium revival, I sat on the bench made by my father and sipped my tea, letting my mind wander to possibilities…..nasturtium vinegars, petals and leaves in salads, herb cheese-stuffed blooms, tiny tea sandwiches with nasturtium confetti…. Nasturtiums don’t mind a touch of frost and should continue to bloom for a few more weeks. The color isn’t over yet!