I love Nasturtium. It is the happiest little herb flower. The leaves, buds, and blooms are all edible. It is considered a herb and is making herb gardening once again popular.
Nasturtiums are so easy to grow from seed. They only take a few days to pop-up. They attract hummingbirds and butterflies too. An excellent plant to increase garden pollination.
They are not a vine that clings or twines around, Nasturtium is more of a spiller. Wonderful to plant in containers around the edges. I love them in my flower boxes! I have one window box next to the picket fence and the Nasturtium cascades perfectly over the tops of the pickets, creating a real country garden look! Have I mentioned how much I love Nasturtiums? They come in lots of bright cheery colors.
One of the best resource books on the cultivation of herbs is Lesley Bremness book titled, The Complete Book of Herbs-A practical guide to growing & using herbs. In her book, Lesley speaks of how in the sixteenth century, a salad might have contained over 50 different leaves, buds, seeds, flowers, blanched stems and pickled roots! Who knew? While the leaves of Nasturtium add a sharp zest to the salad, the blooms and buds add a much milder tone.
The flowers are perfect in a dinner party salad. A great conversation starter, they add a uniqueness to the culinary mix. I utilize my garden when entertaining. There are tremendous recipes in Lesley Bremness book on cooking with herbs, making a summer party more harmonious with the season.
One of the gardening tips I always share:
In every season, you should add one new book to your collection and one unique plant that you have never grown to your garden. I have practiced this for years and have grown myself from doing so. My Herb book shown here is well worn and the pages are marked with notes and party recipes I love.
On page 180 under Salads and Snacks, you must try the Melon, Tomato, and Mint Salad garnished of course with bright orange nasturtiums. It goes like this:
Balled cantaloupe, tomato wedges, cucumber peeled and grated, 1/2 C. finely chopped mint, 1 C. plain organic yogurt seasoned with salt and pepper. Toss and garnish with Nasturtium flowers.