Thursday, November 30, 2006

Nasturtium: Naughty or Nice?

Every year these nasturtiums surprise me when they start popping up all over this bed and in neighboring beds. I usually don't notice them until the've already started blooming, but this year I tried to clear the japanese anemonie from around the lemon tree, so the nasturtium has become much more visible in their stealth mission to take over my garden. It's not that I don't like them (after all, they are quite tasty), it's just that I never know quite where they'll turn up.

I did pick up from the farmer's market a lovely red-flowered variety with rich, dark green leaves one year. I planted it in this same bed and it was devoured to the ground by either snails or earwigs by the next morning. I guess this volunteer, self-seeding variety is not as appealing to my garden critters.

I have learned to recognize the seeds (they look like small fresh garbanzo beans) and collect them as I'm pulling leggy leaf stalks from last year's growth, but still can't seem to control them, and at this point have decided to let them have their way, as long as they don't smother my newly planted lotus. It is amazing to me, and quite cheering that it is only the last day of November, and here already are eager volunteers ready to climb the fence for a winter's worth of blooms.

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