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Nasturtiums: Vintage Yet Decidedly Modern

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Nasturtiums are beautiful blooming plants with a vintage charm that adds a touch of elegance to any garden or balcony. With their vibrant, show-stopping flowers in shades of fiery oranges, yellows, and reds, these delightful blooms will catch the eye and bring a burst of color to your outdoor space.

Nasturtiums: Vintage Yet Decidedly Modern | 31Daily.com

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Growing Nasturtiums

Not only are nasturtiums visually appealing, but they also offer a variety of benefits for gardeners. These versatile plants can be grown as annuals and perennials, depending on your climate, making them a great choice for gardens of all kinds. They are relatively easy to care for and are known for their hardiness, making them perfect for beginner gardeners or those with busy schedules.

And … one more mention in their favor. Nasturtiums re-seed through their roots and can survive underground when air temperature reaches 5 degrees F. They prefer direct to slightly indirect sunlight. I must say, however, mine are prolifically growing in nearly all indirect light. I am looking forward to their return in years to come. But perhaps next year, I may find a larger and showier location in which they may showcase their glory.

Nasturtiums are Edible!

One of the standout features of nasturtiums is their edible flowers and leaves. Yes, you read that right – you can actually eat them! The flowers have a peppery taste, similar to watercress, which adds a unique flavor to salads, sandwiches, and even desserts. The leaves can also be used in culinary creations, providing a refreshing twist to various dishes. This dual-purpose quality makes nasturtiums not only a feast for the eyes but also a treat for the palate.

During World War II, dried ground nasturtium seeds were used as a substitute for black pepper, which was unattainable. Both nasturtium flowers and leaves are edible if grown organically and without chemicals. They give a peppery punch in salads and pasta dishes, similar to watercress, and the flowers add a hint of color and flavor.

Natural Repellent

In addition to their culinary appeal, nasturtiums also have practical uses in the garden. They are known for their natural pest-repellent properties, acting as a deterrent to certain harmful insects. Planting nasturtiums around your precious vegetables and herbs can help protect them from pests without the need for harmful chemicals, making them an eco-friendly option.

Nasturtiums are also considered widely helpful companion plants. They repel a great many cucurbit pests, like squash bugs, cucumber beetles, and several caterpillars and protect garden plants like broccoli and cauliflower.RELATED: DIY: All-Natural Insect Repellent

Nasturtiums as Pollinators

Furthermore, nasturtiums are excellent for attracting pollinators such as bees and butterflies to your garden. Their brightly colored flowers and nectar-rich blooms act as magnets for these important creatures, aiding in pollination and promoting biodiversity in your outdoor space.

Whether you are a seasoned gardener or just starting out, nasturtiums are a fantastic addition to any garden. Their stunning displays of color, versatility, and practical benefits make them an all-around winner. So why not consider adding some nasturtiums to your garden this season? You won’t be disappointed!

Nasturtiums: Vintage Yet Decidedly Modern | 31Daily.com
Image Source: Bluemoon Gardens

Growing Nasturtiums, a vintage bloom that has become decidedly modern.

The Old Farmer’s Almanac says, “Nasturtium is an easy-to-grow annual whose leaves and flowers are edible. These plants with their bright greenery and vibrant flowers are good for containers or ground covers. Their pretty fragrance also makes them a good choice for cut flowers. Nasturtiums are perfect to grow with children because they grow so easily and rapidly.”

To add to their allure, nasturtiums have many virtues; both aesthetic and medicinal as well as a fascinating history, practical garden usage, and epicurean delight.

Nasturtiums Vintage History

Nasturtiums were originally discovered in South America by conquistadors who also were captivated by these brightly colored plants, bringing them back to Spain in the 1500s. The conquistadors found that the Indians of Peru used the nasturtium leaves as a tea to treat coughs, colds and the flu, and menstrual and respiratory difficulties.

Nasturtiums are high in vitamin C and act as a natural antibiotic. They are used topically as a poultice for minor cuts and scratches. They were a favorite among early English herbalists and were known as “Indian cress.”

Once these tantalizing plants were introduced into European gardens, they became a mainstay. Monet, like myself, discovered he was rather fond of them and planted them in the border of the pathway that led to the front door of his home in Giverny.

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