if there’s one thing i will always remember about my mom’s garden, and perhaps my childhood in general, was the abundance of nasturtiums. this humble little flower seemed to grow in every garden in south africa – a bit of a weed, really. almost a lowly little bloom. i remember it having a peculiar smell, but possibly my favourite thing about it was its beautiful round leaves that would catch dew drops in the morning – and you’d carefully ease them off onto your tongue, pretending to be a bird.

i’ve noticed them a lot these days, becoming popular again, being used in floral arrangements and styled into photoshoots. i’m happy for the nasturtium! if anything it has been rendered immortal in the artwork of some of the greats. i can only imagine that they were as abundant for the artists in their day as they were in my mom’s garden.

Félix Vallotton

Abbott Fuller Graves

Gustave Caillebotte

Henri Fantin-Latour

Paul Gauguin

Henri Fantin-Latour

Odilon Redon

Félix Vallotton

Gustave Caillebotte

Félix Vallotton

Henri Matisse



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  1. Gamine Co says

    What a lovely post.
    NB: if you ever make the trip back to the Northeast, you may love the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston (where I work as a horticulturist). Each April (to commemorate Mrs. Gardner’s birthday and her appreciation of Nasturtium) 25+ ft long vines are draped from the third floor balconies of the central courtyard. It’s the only place in the world that grows such extravagant Nasturtium. Actually, Bill Cunningham has this whole unknown body of work all about our Nasturtium vines and the Museum.

  2. says

    oh I love your art history posts. I majored in art history in university, but you are always showing me the most amazing paintings that I haven’t seen. If you taught a course I would love to take it from you ; )

  3. says

    What a lovely post. So fresh, sentimental and vivid. Thank you for putting it together and sharing. I loved playing with the leaves in the pool as a child, and rolling the silver drops of water on and off and around and around, like drops of mercury, like magic.