Isolation #7

We may not be allowed to go out and mingle but today at least the sun is not only shining but giving us some heat, and drawing us out to sit in the garden and/or potter with planting. I’ve sown assorted sizes of Tropaeolum majus* or nasturtiums again this year because they are easy to grow, unashamedly hot and garish for summer and the flower design is one of those fabulous Art Deco motifs. Aside from that, they are a sacrificial plant, whether in the garden or on the allotment, luring blackfly and caterpillar to their succulent leaves and stems and saving the rest of our plants (why does this remind me of herd immunity?). There comes a time when the infestation is so bad they have to be pulled up but not before they have set their pumpkin style seedpods which taste like capers. The young leaves are peppery as watercress in a salad and the edible flowers look good in many summer dishes. What is there not to like?

*Linnaeus named them as such because the vibrant petals reminded him of an ancient Roman custom, where they would set up trophy poles (tropaeum, which stems from he Greek word tropaion) on which the armor and weapons of those the Roman army defeated were hung. To Linnaeus, the leaves looked like shields, and the red flowers looked like blood-stained helmets.

For as long as I'm well, am posting a pic a day to enhance these Covid-19 times of isolation and lockdown

13 thoughts on “Isolation #7

  1. Exactly… what is there not to like?
    It’s lovely to know your sun is out, making our days brighter here too, where the sun hides behind rain clouds! 🙂 xoxo

  2. I have tons of these self-seeding each year, but I would really like some of the more unusual colours. Shall have to do an online seed order!

  3. Laura, what an elegant photo of this nasturtium. I had an older client a few years ago, who had gone to an all women’s college in New England. She grew the most beautiful patch of white and pink nasturtiums in her backyard, because the college served tea sandwiches with the leaves and the flowers of the nasturtiums, and she wanted to always have a ready supply. I was shocked at how much the leaves do taste like watercress (despite looking like common dollar-weed).

    And I am, to use the words of my cloth Yorkshire grandmother, “well chuffed” by the etymology lesson.

    Stay well!

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