of the Week for 28th November
By Lynn Kirkland
Artistry in the Garden
Late spring and the garden is full of colour, texture and fragrance.
Some herbs obligingly self sow and reappear each year with no input from us at all.
One of these is the Vitamin C rich nasturtium. These colonise the banks around our dam and are the most stunning colours.
When you look closely at them it looks like an artist could have applied the colours with a paint brush.
So what can we do with these brightly coloured herbs apart from let them grow at will over areas of the garden where you have space.
You can chop the leaves up into a salad or add to a sandwich as the leaves taste quite spicey and are very nutritious.
All parts of the herb are edible including the flowers and seeds, which are sometimes used as caper substitutes.
The flowers are wonderful stuffed with a cream cheese mix and served with your platter of starters. Mix cream cheese with lemon juice and chopped up lemon balm and gently fill the trumpet shaped flowers. This will be a delicious and surprising serving with drinks.
They are known herbally to be useful in clearing mucus and to be conditioning to skin and hair as well as having useful amounts of Vitamin C.
The nasturtiums in the photo are the traditional variety and nowadays you can get seeds which give reds and bronze colours and are attractive growing in a hanging pot as they are not such sprawling types.
The nasturtium is quite an old fashioned herb however you can put a new twist on it by trying stuffed flowers the next time you do some entertaining.