“Grande Allée de Capucines Grimpantes”/Pathway of Nasturtiums
Writer / Nancy Craig
Nothing is more delightful than walking down a pathway lined with nasturtium flowers blooming in jewel tones of yellows, oranges and reds. The most famous nasturtium pathway is in the impressionist painter Claude Monet’s garden in Giverny outside Paris. When we lived in Holland, we got to tour several of the famous gardens in Europe, and Monet’s garden at Giverny was one of my favorites.
Nasturtiums are very easy annual flowers to grow, and I always add some to trail down my container planters on my patio. This year, I am going to have the children at Children of Hope Preschool help create a nasturtium pathway along New Hope Church’s flower garden. These flowers will complement the perennial flowers already growing in the butterfly garden.
We started the nasturtiums from seed and will set out the seedlings in a couple weeks once we are sure there are no more frosty mornings. We selected several types and colors of nasturtiums to plant. The Jewel of Africa mix is a trailing type (Tropaeolum majus) with several flower colors and variegated leaves. We selected several bush (Tropaeolum minus) types: Empress of India with deep red flowers and the Alaska mix in yellow, orange, salmon and cherry colors with variegated leaves.
The nasturtium leaves, the flowers and even the seeds are edible and add a colorful, peppery taste to a salad. Since the garden at the church is a public place, we will not be eating the nasturtiums from there, but I will enjoy them from my patio garden. Check out my daughter Ann Craig’s website, handfulofherbs.com, for recipes that have nasturtiums in it like Bee Savory Spread.
The children liked the book, “Linnea in Monet’s Garden,” by Cristina Bjork and Lena Anderson, and we “toured” the garden and nasturtium pathway on YouTube with Linnea and Mr. Bloom. Monet’s masterpiece painting, Garden Path at Giverny, is in a museum in Austria. So if you can’t get to Austria to see the painting or to France to see Monet’s garden in Giverny, come see how we do at New Hope Church in Greenwood, Indiana, with our nasturtium pathway along our butterfly garden.