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Friday, November 13, 2020

My Nasturtium Surprise

a surprise nasturtium

Maybe you remember that a year ago spring, I planted nasturtium seeds in some hanging baskets instead of buying annuals. Then this past spring, I planted red leaf lettuce in the same baskets. Whether or not I'd be comfortable picking the lettuce when the baskets looked full and pretty remained in question at planting time. I'm happy to report that we had no qualms picking that lettuce. This past summer, we cared more about feeding ourselves than what things looked like.

the red leaf lettuce salad basket in summer

Anyway, sometime in mid to late summer, I noticed one tiny nasturtium plant growing in one of the lettuce baskets. One of the nasturtium plants from summer 2019 reseeded in the pot without my knowledge (not that I'd do anything to interfere with a free plant growing in a pot). 

So, I let the nasturtium plant grow for the rest of the summer and into early fall. This basket hung right outside the bedroom window, providing a beautiful view of cascading yellow nasturtium blossoms. They attracted a hummingbird on a daily basis, too, for my viewing pleasure (and I'm sure also for the hummingbird's gastronomic pleasure).

one of the nasturtium seed pods

Last Friday afternoon, I went outside to check on some plants on the deck and noticed that the weather had grown quite cold. It felt like we'd receive a good frost overnight, so I brought that basket into the kitchen. Sure enough, it did frost pretty heavily in our yard.

I am currently keeping the hanging basket on the kitchen desk while the new seeds finish ripening. If I can keep this plant alive for another few weeks, I should be rewarded with about a dozen nasturtium seeds to harvest for next summer's baskets.

While we enjoyed having the red lettuce in all of the baskets, I especially loved this one basket with both the nasturtium plant and the lettuce plants. I'm thinking that for summer 2021, I'll plant a few different types of seeds for edibles in the same baskets, including lettuce, nasturtiums, and perhaps some parsley and other herbs -- perhaps something like this:



Gardening is full of surprises. Often what I think will happen in the garden doesn't come to fruition, while that which I never anticipated comes along and surprises me. 

Have a wonderful weekend!

6 comments:

  1. The little seed who could. :) Because of the weather this past summer, many of our plants didn't bloom until the fall. Some of them have survived the frosts and I'm hoping they will stay around long enough for me to harvest seeds for next spring.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Live and Learn,
      Oh, I hope yours do stay around long enough to collect seeds. There's something really satisfying about gathering your own seeds from your plants, even if a packet of seeds isn't something that will break the bank. Good luck!

      Delete
  2. What a pretty surprise! I have tried to grow nasturtiums many times, but am thinking our weather is just not right for them? I had a plant come up this fall, but it never really did much and never blossomed. Definitely stayed small in comparison with yours. How fun to have the hummingbird visit your basket!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Cat,
      I've had both good years and bad with nasturtiums. They really seem to be finicky when grown in a home garden. Despite that, when I was in San Francisco a year ago, there were huge swathes of nasturtiums which had naturalized in several parks and along walking paths. So, they can grow well, perhaps with just the right circumstances, like not too much heat. I felt bad for the hummingbird when I saw him come back the day after I'd brought the pot indoors. I hope he found new blossoms to feed on.
      Have a great evening, Cat!

      Delete
  3. How fun! My hubby has grown nasturtiums in the past and they are pretty. I love it that yours attracted a hummingbird.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Kris,
      I agree -- they are a pretty blossom, plus they're edible! I was super happy to have a hummingbird friend outside my window each morning. I hope he remembers where this pot was, next summer. I'll be glad to have him return.
      Wishing you a lovely evening, Kris.

      Delete

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