Nasturtiums: on the Wild Side

"I wanna touch the earth, I wanna break it in my hands, I wanna grow something wild and unruly..."
~Martie Seidel and Marcus Hummon

nasturtium nasturtium

Wild and unruly plants are welcome in my garden. Plants that spill over the edge, reseed themselves freely, and pop up in unexpected places dominate my back yard. Nasturtiums feel at home. They drop seeds and each generation is different from the year before. I have only planted them once, some Tall Single Mix seeds, and every year a new flower color or two surprises me. Nasturtiums have large, round leaves that look like lily pads, and water droplets bead up beautifully on them. Nasturtium flowers and young leaves make a delicious, mildly spicy addition to salads, and the fresh seeds can be pickled to eat like capers. Hummingbirds, bees, and many other beneficial insects delight in the nooks and crannies that make up nasturtium flowers. Nasturtiums thrive in our Northern California climate that has a touch of coastal influence, relatively mild winters and plenty of warm sunshine.