The sun was setting Saturday night and I was scampering around the garden, covering up a few beds in anticipation of last night’s frost. In that dim, cold light, the ‘Spitfire’ nasturtiums I’ve been growing as part of the garden bloggers SeedGROW project looked a particularly rich shade of orange. Maybe it was reflecting the sunset, but the color struck me enough that I ran in and got the camera. Attempts to capture the color failed (flash just doesn’t cut it and my tripod is broken), but I went back today in less atmospheric light and found that the color is still striking.
Things have been a bit up and down with these nasturtiums, but I admire their persistence. With the heavy rains we had a week ago, and the pleasant fall temperatures since then, they seem to be thriving and are one of the brighter lights in my garden now. What flowers are making you happy as fall creeps in?
The ‘Spitfire’ nasturtiums I’ve been growing this summer as part of the SeedGROW Project are long-gone from my container garden, but seem to be thriving in two in-ground gardens. In the backyard, one plant is climbing up the pergola, looking as healthy as can be, and in front, another is starting to crawl across the driveway. The relative health of the nasties is not a surprise. After a spell of very high humidity and 80 or 90 degree temperatures, we’ve been in the 70s (or lower!) most of the past week. We also had about 2 inches of rain fall last week, which perked up the ‘Spitfires’ as well as several other flowers. I can’t guarantee these will still be blooming come the first weekend in October — but we can hope.
In an effort to clean out and edit some of the overgrown elements of my front garden, I cut back and moved a pot of ‘Spitfire’ nasturtiums that I have been growing as part of the SeedGROW project. By the time I took them out, my formerly lovely pot nasturtiums were sad, indeed, (there is apparently a reason these are nicknamed “nasties”) with a case of leafminers (thanks for the ID, Mr. Brown Thumb) and what might have been a wilt. Fortunately, the nasturtiums I planted in the ground are doing better.
The ones in the photo are from a group I planted with morning glories near a corner of the garage. It’s sunny in the morning, but shady most of the day. The nasturtiums seem to have been beat out for use of the support by the marigolds and so are mostly climbing along the ground. One of my longtime garden dreams is to create a floor of nastutriums similar to the one in Monet’s garden in France. That won’t be happening this year, but the nasties look pretty good (so far!) with the volunteer morning glories (good old, Grandpa Ott’s) and some ‘Profusion’ zinnias, which are doing the best they can in the tough clay soil near the garage.
The ‘Spitfire’ nasturtiums I’m growing as part of the bloggers’ Seed GROW project have really taken off in this container area near my front door. I love nasturtiums for their big showy foliage, but these also have vibrant orange blooms that stand out in my otherwise green, pink, and purple garden.
I planted the nasturtiums in three different areas of my garden: the container area, which gets morning sun and is otherwise shady; a little spot near the garage, which gets morning sun but has tough clay soil; and near a pergola in back in a flower bed with rich, black soil.
In terms of bloom and height, the container nasturtiums are way ahead of the rest. They began climbing the simple wire trellis I put in the pot, with just a bit of encouragement from me. (I wound the plant tendrils around a few wires and tied one main stem loosely to the trellis.) The plant now covers much of the trellis and is spilling out of the pot. It has been blooming for a couple of weeks. The orange flowers are bright enough to be seen from the street and are a great illustration of the power of orange.