September 24, 2012

All Season Long

Are nasturtiums supposed to bloom profusely all spring, all summer and all fall? Do yours?

Mine never did before.

Nasturtiums are easy to grow from seed, and they look great in early summer until heat and humidity make them look ratty and sprawly, which is when the gardener takes them out and replaces them with something else.

They are cool weather annuals and they can be prone to aphids.

But this year, despite a very hot and very dry summer, the nasturtiums around the gravel garden have not missed a beat.

Here they are in summer, in 90 degree heat, even a few days at 100, and at the height of our almost totally rainless July.


And here they are on a cloudy day in August, never having slowed down at all.

And they are still fresh and vibrant in the third week of September, going strong at the foot of a shaggy, mop headed sourwood tree.

No aphids, few brown or curled leaves, and no let up in the flowering extravagance.

The orange ones are 'Gleam', and they trail and climb up the nearby inkberry hollies. Some of the flowers are apricot streaked with rust red, others are a solid hot orange. It's a great mix. I'd grow them again.

The yellow ones are 'Moonlight' and they also climb. I let one mound over on itself, and planted another to climb up a trellis by the side of the house.

All summer I snipped off a few of the peppery, tasty leaves for salads, but other than that they got no attention. Nasturtiums want no fertilizer, no care, and a lot of neglect, so I gave them all of that.


I am the best nasturtium grower in the world, I really am.

Next season they may disappoint, but this year they have made me look like a genius all season long.

26 comments:

  1. Coneflowers make me feel that way! These shots of your garden really showcase the great design work you've done with the rocks. I really like the use of the larger rock with the gravel and plants to soften the edges. Very nice. Looks like shots from a magazine!

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    1. Cat, your comments are going to my head. I study magazine shots and garden design pictures, but never hope to achieve anything close! Thanks so much : )

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  2. Your garden is beautifully landscaped. You must have puhed all the right buttons with your nasturtiums as they all look so glorious.

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    1. Stiletto, Thank you! I am taking credit for the nasturtiums, but really, they grow so easily by themselves. They do like neglect.

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  3. Monet would be proud of you. The nasturtiums look fabulous.

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    1. Lisa, how I like being considered in a class with Monet . . . oh my. Made me smile.

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  4. Yours definitely look amazing! I usually have the same thing happen during summer, they look positively dreadful...however, I see other people around town who have them...and they look amazing all year...not sure what the difference is!

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    1. Scott, thanks. I am not at all sure what the difference is either. In prior years mine looked awful by mid summer too.

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  5. You really are the best nasturtium grower. Mine barely grew at all in the spring, then appeared to die in summer. Only now in fall after some rains am I seeing any flowers and green leaves. Yours are the perfect mound of foliage plus flowers.

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    1. Marguerite, I do like the way these trailing varieties mounded up when they had no where to climb. They make nice shapely forms on the ground. And they are flower machines!

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  6. My nasturiums pooped out on me early in the season. I think they hated my rich potting soil. Maybe I should have just thrown the seeds in a few patio paver cracks. Yours are incredible! I have nasturium envy.

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    1. Tammy, I think you could have success with throwing the seeds in paver cracks. Nasturtiums really do want to be abused, no rich potting soil for them.

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  7. You just never know what those nasturtiums are going to do! I've had some years where I pull them all out by June and others where they triumph all summer. Strange!

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    1. Barbara, each year is different, and I will be so disappointed next year if I get poor results with these nasturtiums!

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  8. I think you must be a genius, because my nasturtiums in comparison were all leaves and got kinda gangly. I can't remember the variety, but I think they were the nothing fancy, most common variety. I wonder if the soil was to good for them? Like Tammy, I planted mine were in good black earth. I like nasturtiums a lot, so maybe next year I will try them in a new spot, and then follow your simple recipe for success: plenty of neglect!

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    1. Jennifer, if the soil is too rich you will get leaves and no blooms with nasturtiums. I have to say, though, that mine are next to the gravel, but not planted in the stone -- they are in good garden soil that edges the area. Not really lean conditions for nasturtiums, but they bloom their heads off.

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  9. Yes, you are the best nasturtium grower ever! Mine just hear the word summer and they are done

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    1. Ruth, this is the first time my nasturtiums looked this good. I have no idea why these are such performers, but I take all the credit. : )

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  10. Incredible-save some of those seeds! Have you grown these particular varieties before? Mine have always been in the "pooped out by summer" category too (along with pansies and annual Lobelia) but I've never grown them from seed or planted them in the ground.

    The garden has a way of always keeping us on our toes, doesn't it?

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    1. Sue, this is the first time I have grown 'Gleam' and 'Moonlight' and even if I don't save the seeds from these plants, I'll definitely order the same seed packets next year. These were winners, for sure.

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  11. Hi, Laurrie, I'm glad your flowers are still blooming, seems the summer didn't go away! I love nasturtiums too, but this summer I hadn't them in my garden, I forgot about my seeds! I promised to myself to plant nasturtiums next spring near my arbor. Have a nice week!

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    1. Nadezda, That's too bad you forgot about planting the seeds this year! Be sure to save them and get them in the garden for next year. I hope you get as long a season of bloom as I did.

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  12. My nasturtiums bloomed all last growing season with no aphids. This year they bloomed profusely until the end of June, then I cut them all back because of serious aphid infestations. They are now reblooming and will do so until frost. This season is more typical of what I'm used to with nasturtium. I haven't sown new seeds for the past two years. All mine self sow. I just work around them or transplant them as needed.

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    1. Joene, it will be interesting to see if the orange 'Gleam' ones self sow for me. I'd like to have them again next year. I'll buy another seed pack just to make sure, but I look forward to seeing what pops up next spring.

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  13. Is that 'Nicky' Phlox in the 4th picture? Looks like your Plumbago has finally emerged from the depths of the rosemary!

    That's funny about the nasturium. Maybe it hates heat and wet at the same time? Or, you are the best nasturium grower in the world. :)

    I haven't grown nasturiums for a long time, not since we lived in PA for a few years, but I do think they usually burn up here at the same time pansies do.

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    1. Sweetbay, good eye -- that is 'Nicky' phlox. I have since moved it to another location, and it did even better --- long bloom time and nice upright, mildew free plants. I need to post more pics of the plumbago now. After no real growth or bloom all summer, in September it is going crazy and blooming beautifully! Go figure.

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