Saturday, May 23, 2009

The Big Nasturtiums

Ignace Henri Jean Fantin-Latour

Today we have been given a rare gift in Vancouver -- a sunny weekend. I have been waiting for the opportunity to start landscaping the terrace on my tree house. This year I have decided to attempt growing nasturtiums again. They are my favorite summer flower. Nothing says summer like a bunch of colorful nasturtiums. My tree house is not very big but it has a terrace that goes around two sides. On one side I have a round patio table and four chairs, and on the other side I have two Adirondack chairs. It's my favorite spot in the whole city on a warm summer afternoon. I'm surrounded by Douglas fir trees, poplar, Japanese plum, cherry, and pine trees. I can sit out there and feel the ocean breezes, and listen to the rustle of the leaves. It's my own private sanctuary in the middle of the city. My favorite time of year is when I can get my terrace ready for summer. So today I'm off to the garden center to stock up on some plants -- including nasturtiums -- for my terrace. Have a great weekend, everyone, and to my American friends, have a safe and happy Memorial Day.

—Robert Beverly Hale ... The New Yorker magazine

All of a sudden the big nasturtiums
Rose in the night from the ocean's bed,
Rested a while in the light of the morning,
Turning the sand dunes tiger red.

They covered the statue of Abraham Lincoln,
They climbed to the top of our church's spire.
"Grandpa! Grandpa! Come to the window!
Come to the window! Our world's on fire!"

Big nasturtiums in the High Sierras,
Big nasturtiums in the lands below;
Our trains are late and our planes have fallen,
And out in the ocean the whistles blow.

Over the fields and over the forests,
Over the living and over the dead—
"I never expected the big nasturtiums
To come in my lifetime!" Grandpa said.


Susan English Mason said...

That sounds about right - sunny weekend in Vancouver and a cloudy and somewhat wet weekend in Arizona; but no complaints here!

Paula Slade said...

Have a great weekend Jo!! By the way, have you ever had nasturtiums in a salad? Tastee! :)

Kathy's Klothesline said...

I love playing in the dirt and planting flowers. Have fun today! I can just see your deck in my mind's eye......You, sitting in your chair, surrounded by nature, resting your soul!

Leslie: said...

I had such fun playing with the grandkids this morning. We're also in the process of "doing" the garden and we have 8 hanging baskets of fuschias and a big pot of cosmos to try to attract butterflies and hummingbirds. So far in the front, my wegelia is blooming, and we have some huge marigolds in the garden plus 3 pots of osteospermum. Going to do 3 more pots of something for the front, too. I managed to get half the back garden weeded, but now my back is acting up so I'll have to lay low for a while and just watch my "gardener" go at it. lol

Canarybird said...

Our nasturtiums are more spring flowers here and they fill and spill over a back garden bed, coming back every year without need of my sowing seeds. They'll be dying off soon but they've been beautiful and we do have them in salads....both flowers and leaves.
I remember how it was such a pleasure
to work in the garden on a sunny spring Vancouver day! Have a good Sunday Jo.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a little bit of heaven. It's rainy here.

Patsy said...

I love nasturtiums too. The colors are so bright and happy and I learned that you cannot kill a nasturtium. Those little plants are hardy and very much the survivors. PLEASE TAKE PICTURES OF YOUR PATIO AROUND YOUR HOUSE. I WANT TO SEE.

Patsy said...

Hey.. maybe i will go and buy some nasturtiuns too. What do you mean by BIG NASTURTIUMS? Do you know something I don't know?

I am glad you reminded me how lovely they re. I used to have yellow and orange ones in the back yard but then I forgot about them and planted huge philodendron plants which are now like trees.


TC said...

I love Nasturtiums! I haven't bought any flowers but may get some this week.

BTW you've won an award, it's on my florenceview blog or animals that give pause. Congrats!!

Country Girl said...

I LOVE nasturtiums! You've just inspired me. Your garden sanctuary sounds lovely. So glad you had some sunshine.Oh, and yes you would love spending some time in NYC.

Jo said...

Pouty Lips, no complaints here either. Sunshine, yay! :-)

Paula, yes, my mother used to put nasturtiums seeds in salads. I loved them!

Kathy, yes, it's very peaceful on my terrace. I'll post some pictures when it's finished.

Leslie, eight hanging baskets of fuscias! Holy doodle! I bought some osteospermum today. I love them.

Canarybird, yes, spring in Vancouver can be really beautiful, can't it? And do you remember how hot Port Alberni used to get? Phew!

Cat, it was just like the Garden of Eden here today.

Lorna, I will take pictures of my terrace as soon as I have it landscaped. It's so pretty when it's done. And I love the poem about the big nasturtiums. It was written in 1951 and published in The New Yorker.

TC, an award! Thank you, my goodness. I will be right over to get it. :-)

Kate, yes, I was in New York during the month of August one year, and I would love to go back in spring or autumn. Autumn in New York. :-)

Anonymous said...

Your terrace sounds lovely!

I planted some Nasturtium seeds in a pot a few weeks ago. The foliage is doing great...can't wait for them to bloom.

Swetha said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Swetha said...

your terrace must be one of the most beautiful spot.. i really wanna have a look at it...
its sounds nature!

Anonymous said...