Friday, February 21, 2014

Trailing Nasturtiums

The giant threatening icicles hanging from the eaves have melted finally. It was 38 degrees today, overcast and spitting drizzle, but warm enough to melt some of the ice.

This year I am going to try two kinds of trailing nasturtiums on the twig towers that flank one entrance to the gravel garden.

I liked 'Gleam' orange nasturtiums in 2012. I did not have them climb the twig towers, I actually had some nice blue plumbagos there, but 'Gleam' nasturtiums were planted nearby and some of the trailing vines rose up into the inkberry hollies and onto the tower supports.

Last year I tried 'Variegated Queen' nasturtiums climbing the towers, rather than the plumbago, but the effect wasn't what I wanted. They were supposed to trail to 6 feet, but grew so slowly, got bushy and did not bloom until very late in the season, in September and October.

The leaves of 'Variegated Queen' were very large and splashed with cream. I think these are grown more for the foliage. I liked the shy, smaller leaves of the orange 'Gleam' and I liked its trailing habit better.
             'Gleam' in 2012 -- smaller leaves                              'Variegated Queen' in 2013 -- larger, mottled leaves

So this spring I got nasturtium seeds from Summerhill Seeds for a yellow 'Gleam' variety to grow on the twig pyramids. I am hoping it is as flowery and nice as the orange one, with small leaves and vining habit. It vines to 15 feet. I'll plant some under the inkberry hollies, let them climb through, and then onto the twig towers.

And . . . how cool is this . . .  I am going to combine the yellow nasturtiums with a blue one on each tower. I have never seen a blue nasturtium. It looks deep blue, almost purple in the seed catalog. It vines to 7 feet. We'll see how this does. It intrigued me.

What I would really love to see some day are the trailing nasturtiums at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. I want to see the fabulous art collection, but I'd also like to see the over the top nasturtiums in the museum courtyard.  Makes my 5 foot high twig towers look a little puny.

Really, nasturtiums in any setting should be orange!
What am I thinking with blue ones?

1 comment:

  1. Oh these are so very pretty! I know you didn't care for last years but I still find the affect stunning!!! I will be pinning these varieties and I can't wait to see how they turn out! I have so much to do but they are saying that this arctic blast is going to go straight through March which really throws me with starting my seeds...Oh well...stay warm friend!!