Nasturtiums do double duty with perky orange, sunny yellow and rich red blooms, plus the leaves, buds and blossoms are all edible. And triple duty, since although it is an annual, the seeds are easy to collect in the fall for replanting the next year. Nasturtium directly translates as ‘nose twist’, due to the unique fragrance, and the peppery flavour of the blooms and leaves. There are mounding bush or climbing vine varieties. Both have rounded soft leaves and liberal flowers with several colour options. These are also one of my favourite bouquet flowers thanks to their sweet scent, and long lasting, delicate blooms. Nasturtiums are susceptible to aphids, though resist them if watered well. I plant them in the veggie garden as an aphid lure; the aphids prefer the nasturtiums to most veggies, and the aphids are easy to see and remove (and squish underfoot!). There are many varieties to choose from. ‘Alaskan Mix’ is a regular for me, and this year I’m trying ‘King Theodore’ for crimson velvet blooms. My seeds came from Floribunda Seeds – a delightful organic seed farm not far from where I grew up. You can check them out at www.floribundaseeds.com. It is worth the effort to pick up a packet of nasturtium seeds for container or ground - easy to grow, edible, and ornamental with abundant and assorted blooms!
Technical stuff – Nasturtium/tropaeolum, annual, seeds can be started indoors for head start, or plant in ground after last frost, bush and vining varieties, bush variety grows about 12” tall, poor to average well drained soil, sun to part shade, blooms summer and fall.