Nasturtiums

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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13 Responses to Nasturtiums

  1. Gamine Co Friday 15 November, 2013 at 12:22 am #

    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. maggie Friday 15 November, 2013 at 12:31 am #

    That Matisse piece is one of my absolute favorites.

  3. patty Friday 15 November, 2013 at 12:33 am #

    and they are edible! not such a lowly flower! :)

  4. Rosalinda Friday 15 November, 2013 at 12:35 am #

    Vallotton…googling him after. Thank you for my daily wonderment!

  5. Jade Sheldon-Burnsed Friday 15 November, 2013 at 6:36 am #

    That first painting really captures my heart.

  6. elana Friday 15 November, 2013 at 7:48 am #

    Yea, they really do remind me of “home”. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Leanne Friday 15 November, 2013 at 8:55 am #

    I love nasturtiums and plant them every summer, even if it’s just a little pot on the patio!

  8. caitlin rose Friday 15 November, 2013 at 3:53 pm #

    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 ; )

  9. Sage Parker Friday 15 November, 2013 at 3:58 pm #

    I adore this collection of paintings, really perfect!!!!

  10. head in the sun Saturday 16 November, 2013 at 12:07 am #

    one of my most favourite flowers.

  11. Michelle Saturday 16 November, 2013 at 12:32 am #

    Like Patty said, they are edible! And taste delcious…like spicy lettuce. They also look really pretty sprinkled on top of a bowl of salad. I love nasturtiums!

    • Miss Moss Saturday 16 November, 2013 at 10:21 am #

      yes i have eaten them before on occasion, not my cup o tea.

  12. Frances Monday 25 November, 2013 at 11:14 pm #

    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.

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