Each week, as I start to think about what is best to pick and arrange for In a Vase on Monday, there is the question of what to pick. Will it be the best of the flowers? What can be spared? What can be to be left in the garden for another week? Often there are prunnings which would other wise be discarded that make a good addition. Then there are definitely ones which are left out because they are not up to much. For sure I have my failures and disappointments, sadly this year the nasturtiums are not fairing well.
A few weeks ago, we spent a lovely family day all together. To find things my GD and I can share is a lovely way of connecting. I have loved sharing my joy in nature and flowers and IAVOM with my beloved GD. She has even been an apprentice IAVOM contributor. Izzi is at the fairy stage and is sharing her love of fairies with me. Over several years we have shared our love of fuchsias, which also happens to be her favourite fairy. Until the cooler weather and rain arrives, it has been other types of flowers fairies who have been waiving their wands in my garden.
We found that there is a Nasturtium Fairy. For a number of years, I have grown nasturtiums...so very easy and colourful. I have posted and talked often of this annual.
Each year I have been pleased with the nasturtium plants and flowers...until this year. For the first time I bought seed, rather that collected seed from good plants. I had a lovely tray full of good strong plants although even at that stage the shape and form of the leaves did not really appeal: Jewel of Africa and planted them out at just the right time. But I think Van Meuwen's fairies had not spread their magic dust on the packeted seeds.
With hot temperatures I had expected the plants to do well. Although I have had the odd plant with variegated leaves emerge in the past and enjoyed this trait, now that all of them are two toned, I have decided I prefer the matt green of 'standard' leaves where you can really appreciate the lovely round flat structure where its petiole in the centre.
I have also read that the leaves are superhydrophobic, which means that because the leaves contain waxy nanostructures, water is not absorbed through the top of the leaf. Because the water drops off, it removes dirt and dust aleaving a clean surface to continue photosynthesis. I wonder what this substance is and whether we could add it to the surface of raincoats etc?
The shape of the leaves on Jewel of Africa are bumpy, and the outline rather wavy. Sadly there are even very few flowers...but I did want to have an arrangement this week with the nasturtiums.
Only three or four blooms from about a dozen plants were worth picking, so I have added a couple of Tithonia flowers. Those plants have more than made up for the poor nasturtiums. Also a few stems of rudbekia. One bloom and leaf would just not stay in the vase either...so out it stayed, and then three of my miniature yellow tomatoes decided the join the combination.
This afternoon, I may well uproot all the nasturtiums and use the space for plants I want to bring on.
For reading this past week I have had my nose burried in these two, whichI picked up from the library as they were on the just arrived, brand new shelf, and I was the first to borrow these two!
I love reading about gardens, and am enjoying reading this one.
I am about two thirds of the way through 'So much Life Left Over'....loving this. I have since read that this is a sequel to The Dust that falls from Dreams. I haven't felt reading 'So much Life Left Over' that there had to have been a previous book.
It seems strange to be adding a post-script to a post several months later. However, it is mainly for my own use, and if you have been searching on nasturtiums, you will surely be wiser for visiting Joanna's post on the topic. With much history and background she writes about the introduction of nasturtiums firstly to Spain and later to the rest of Europe in the sixteenth century.