Beautiful & Easy

One of my newfound loves for the garden that grows well and will continuously bloom throughout the summer and into the fall are Nasturtiums. The name is odd and it requires me to spellcheck it every time I use it. But the flowers and leaves are unlike any other I have come across yet.

There are about 80 types of Naturtiums recorded around the world. In warm climates zones 9-11; they are an annual plant. Here in Minnesota we have to replant them every year. But you won’t mind that if you normally only invest your time & money in perennials  – just stay tuned!

If you go online you will find many types of seeds to consider. Local nurseries rarely have them for sale in pots as Nasturtiums don’t like to be transplanted. However the packets of seeds are really affordable for you to grow them yourself. Plus, they do best grown from seed in their final destination whether it’s in the ground as borders, or pops of color in terraces, pots or hanging planters.

Nasturtiums first caught my eye long before I ever saw the first bloom. It was the leaves that had such a beautiful and unusual shape; like Lilly Pads floating in the air. Then came the bright orange flowers that were abundant and continuous all the way into the fall last year.

Not only are the blooms bright and beautiful for your gardens, they are a colorful garnish to just about everything you present on the table. Both the leaves and the flowers are edible and have a true pepper taste to them; an easy add to any salad.

The botanical name for Nasturtiums is Tropaeolum (even harder to remember to spell!) and they have been recorded in history as far back at the 1500’s.

Now, as promised, the reason why you will love these low-maintenance gems even if you are a “Perennial Purist”:

  • The seeds (about the size of a pea), just need to be plunked into the soil
  • Any soil will work; the poorer the quality, the better
  • You don’t have to fertilize them. In fact, don’t fertilize. If you do, you will get more leaves than blooms
  • No need to dead head them
  • They will grow in sun or shade, just keep them watered weekly

For the last couple years, we have been planting the seeds at the start of summer in order to have them produce blooms after many of the other flowering plants are spent for the season.

If you have any plants that are beautiful, easy, abundant and can survive the summer sun, I would love to hear your recommendations.

I will always look at plants and trees with fascination. Though we can grow them from seed, we as humans cannot create plants out of nothing. I consider them little miracles that should never be taken for granted.

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The lazy days of summer?

As a girl who was born in Scotland and raised in northern Minnesota, no one appreciates the beauty of summertime more than me.  However, I’ve noticed a few funny contradictions . . .

Lynne blog

I love the feeling of the warm sun on my skin and all of the benefits of Vitamin D it provides. I love the warm, beautiful, sun-kissed glow my skin will have by summer’s end and look forward to the spattering of freckles across my nose and cheeks.   But, at that summer’s end, I’ll look in the mirror and panic! I ‘ll immediately return to the serums and creams I’ve so religiously applied morning and night to eliminate the new sun damage I just created with the goal of looking like I’ve never spent a single minute in the sun.

The ‘lazy days of summer’ is a concept that my brain has never quite figured out. It implies that I’m supposed to be snoozing in a hammock, sipping ice tea, sunning by the beach, dining al fresco every night and being stress free without really not accomplishing much. While great in concept, this whole idea totally stresses me out. I am a consummate list maker and list crosser-offer. As long as I can keep doing that while sipping ice tea in a hammock on a beach somewhere, I’m good.

One of my biggest passions is gardening. In Minnesota, we really get to enjoy the fruits of our gardening labor for a short 5 months. In my excitement, I usually start way too early. Inevitably, an early frost arrives and I’m covering up my pots and window boxes with blankets and will always lose some of my beautiful new flowers to the cold. Also in my excitement, I’ll spend a small fortune on flowers for my gardens. My rationale is that summer is such a short season so I just have to spend . . .  with my husband’s rationale is being that, since summer is such a short season, I shouldn’t spend!

In the end, come Labor Day Weekend I’ll do what any good Minnesotan will do when it really kicks in just how glorious (but short) a Minnesota summer can be.   I’ll wish I had soaked up the more of the goodness of the sun, I’ll wish I had relaxed and chilled-out just a wee bit more, and I’ll wish I had designed another colorful and beautiful back-yard garden.

Cheers to making this summer the best one ever!

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