Tag Archive: nasturtium


Signs of Spring

Spring has been well and truly in the air for some time now, and as a result it’s easy to find signs of spring throughout the garden. I think I had more flowers and bulbs out last year – unfortunately neglect from finishing the renovations before our permit ran out meant aphids destroyed a l lot of bulbs before I’d even realised they had moved in. But what was left remains beautiful and provides a pleasant working ground for creating the summer garden. Also included in the spring flowers is my very first apple blossom which can’t help but make me smile!

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Nasturtium Capers

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With this latest discovery, nasturtiums are possibly the most useful plant in my garden. They grow easily and quickly (including hard to fill places), they cover the garden with bright beautiful flowers (which you can eat – my type of flower!) They then shed loads of seeds all over the ground and self-sow so easily that I haven’t had to grow any from seed since my initial two nasturtium plants from a few years ago. The rest of the plant can be composted, adding to their usefulness. I was already pretty happy with how much I could do with them until I learnt I was wasting the seeds (despite giving away as many as I could) – I could be making nasturtium capers!!

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I’m not sure how I missed this one, but after mentioning it to a few people it seems they are pretty common. It’s also amazing easy to do: collect the seeds (they need to be green) and soak them in salty brine for 24hrs.  Drain, pat dry and place into sterilised jars. Add herbs and a bay leaf if you like, and then fill the jars with white wine vinegar. Too easy! All that’s left is to add some labels and wait for a couple of weeks for the flavour to develop. I made these at the very end of last month, so it won’t be long before I can give them a try…

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The Garden In Spring

Although most of the spring bulbs have now gone, the garden is still looking pretty lush and inviting thanks to the spring rain we’ve had. The nasturtiums are looking great, but as they’ve started to take over most of the garden I’ve had to cut them back a little. All the summer veggies are growing well, including zucchinis and beans from seeds and a couple of tomatoes I bought as seedlings. More and more of my own tomatoes from the seedling experiment have been planted into the ground and continue to grow well which has made me a lot more positive about small seeds. I may end up with a lot of tomatoes at this rate – but that only makes me want to plant more! The capsicum and eggplant seedlings are still a bit too small to plant out, so I’ll keep my fingers crossed that they’ll make it in time for summer (and sneak in a couple of more advanced seedlings while I’m waiting – hopefully they won’t notice).

Spring flowers

I haven’t managed to find as much time as I would have liked to get out into the garden lately (despite desperately waiting for spring to arrive), however even without my help the garden is creating its own little beautiful display of spring flowers. I have to chuckle to myself as the bulbs come up – it feels like it’s been so long since I planted them and already I’ve forgotten where I planted them. This leads to “oh yeah, I remember putting that there” type moments… a little more often than is probably normal for my age…

The first year I tried bulbs, I planted 2 tulips and a daffodil in a row picturing how lovely they all would look together once they flowered. To my bitter disappointment, each flower picked a different week in spring to flower and all were eaten by aphids and snails within 2 days. So I never had my nice display of bulbs I was hoping for. Angrily I remember saying to my Mum that “I’m never planting bulbs again!”… She just laughed and said “yes you will.” My Mum will also love it when I tell the world – she was right.

Gradually I think I’ve become a bit more savvy with bulbs – I tend to grab specials as I’ve found even if planted a bit late the majority will still flower.  I also now go for more robust types of bulbs that tend to flower for longer. Often mistaken for poppies by my neighbours, the ranunculi I’ve planted tend to give lots of bright flowers for weeks and weeks. They seem to have so much power for such little bulbs! Rather than standard tulips I’ve been trying to grab more unusual ones late in season when they’re on sale (e.g. this year I found parrot tulips for $1 each) – and almost all have flowered. Other highlights include the weeping cherry that’s starting to flower, the broad bean flowers (which most people wouldn’t count in their spring flowers but I particularly like them), the ever faithful nasturtiums as well as the blueberries which continue to flower. So the spring overhaul is yet to come – but for now, hope you enjoy what I’ve had the pleasure of looking at over the last couple of weeks.

My twin tulip

Parrot tulip

Nasturtium

Ranunculus

Ranunculus

Broad bean flowers

Cherry blossom in flower

I’m not the only one enjoying the spring flowers & sunshine…