Nasturtium – Plants of Yesteryear


Nasturtium – Plants of Yesteryear
  • Posted November 20, 2014

Modern flower varieties are often huge, double blossom versions of their more homely botanical ancestors. Think of the difference between a wild rose in the woods, for example, and a David Austin cultivar. Not to knock the latter, but the beauty of old-fashioned plants is in their robust nature versus their flashier, but often less resilient incarnations.

orange nasturtium

There is also something to be said for the simple beauty of plants that have stood the test of time without attempts at breeding 'improved' cultivars. Take nasturtium, for example. There are a few red and yellow varieties out there, but you can't beat the original orange nasturtium. It is the essence of orange. Nasturtium practically grows itself, its seeds germinating readily in filtered sunlight and moist soil.

nasturtium in garden

The vines have a way of establishing themselves in the back corner of a well-worn garden, those magical places where the efforts of multiple generations gardening on the same piece of land have created a garden that continues and thrives with almost no effort at all. The way the round leaves of nasturtium collect a single bead of water in their center after a rain is one of the simple, perennial pleasures of gardening and why these tough old plants recapture each generation of gardeners with their well-earned grace.

nasturtium leaf water droplet

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Brian Barth
About the Author

After 15 years as a professional landscape designer and horticulturalist, Brian Barth embarked on a second career to share his passion—and the knowledge he's accrued—through writing. His love of plants is all-encompassing, but he has a particular soft spot for culinary crops.


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Nasturtium – Plants of Yesteryear