Yellow nasturtium

How are you at cultivating weeds? Excellent, then you will have little trouble enjoying a thriving horticultural relationship with the nasturtium.

A simple matter of pressing a handful of seeds into less than average soil and applying a generous spray of water will in very little time, result in the appearance of tiny rounded pumpkin-esque leaves. These tender beginnings will only continue to develop into greater wandering vines seeking optimum aspect to settle for bud burst. Turn your attention to matters of the indoors for several days only to be pleasantly surprised, on the unplanned day you chance to pass this patch once more, now lavish and beaming with the rusty orange and golden yellow jewels this secretive perennial has been longing to astonish you with. And astonish you it will.

Let not the display remain outdoors, but gather small handfuls of the gems to be spaced with sprigs of generic winter garden greenery, filling orphaned milk jugs to brighten the bleakness. Interestingly, well after the pricey bunch of hot-housed tulips have dropped their heads, with a swift freshening of the supporting green, the little nasturtium posy shines on.

nasturtium jug

For me, nasturtium fondness traces back awhile. Back in fact to the base of a mission-brown stained paling fence with a northerly aspect, flanked by a thickness of orange blooms set off by the vivid green. This is the visual I have of the dividing line distinguishing the boundary between my childhood home and the neighbourhood path.  With the fence and the home a distant memory,  it was therefore without hesitation, when I saw this artwork in our local gallery that I purchased a print. Complete with cabbage moth, who shares an equal affection for the plant, this print provides a restful scene to reflect upon before the bedside lamp clicks off, punctuating the end of another day.

nasturtium art

Postscript: Is it too late to add, that both leaves and blooms are wonderful additions to simple tomato, cucumber and lettuce salads? (once you have trained the uninitiated palettes into the ‘appreciation of the peppery’ of course)

nasturtium salad



autumn village painting

To be able to take in an image on countless occasions and still to see it as though for the first time, to come away each time feeling settled and content, and for all of this to occur bearing no relationship whatsoever to cost, I’d say then, what you have before you is truly a work of art.

Secured some years ago in a local charity shop and now firmly mounted on our entrance hall wall, this amateur painting is possibly the first and last thing those that pass through our home will set eyes on. For some, it may not warrant a second glance, but for me that pathway is so inviting and I’m sure there are some welcoming kitchens and fire sides in those bright little cottages. My first task would be to pick a handful of those wildflowers for the table and then later in the afternoon as the autumn chill drifts down, take a brisk walk toward those mountains. Five minutes spent with this picture is a simple reminder of what is good.

Find your own piece of framed friendliness and park it where it is likely to intersect your line of vision, so no matter how demanding your day has been, your soul is not forgotten.

autumnal virginia creeper

Postscript: If you subtract the vista of rolling background hills, the bovine grazing and the picket fence, I guess the picture framed by our front window does similarly good things for the spirits.