I love nasturtiums - and yet I rarely remember in time to do anything about growing some. This year I bought some baby plants, and now they're all opening and flaming briefly and dying swiftly in the hot sun. But I look at them, and at this photo, and I remember the first nasturtiums I grew, from seeds I found in my mother's sideboard drawer after she'd had to go into a nursing home. I wrote the following, and read it at her funeral - and because I've been remembering, I'm posting it here again:
Two nasturtiums bloomed today.
I saw their gold as the sun
Tipped my autumn garden with
Illusive warmth. I took the seeds
From the drawer you placed them in
Years since, and planted late in some
Faint hope of their survival.
They flower, but the year is spent
As are your years, and winter comes.
These unplanted seeds were hope
Abandoned as your vigour faded,
Their tiny sunbursts a last dawn
Of tenderness before the dark.
Go on your journey, gently, now,
The last sun warm upon your face.
My extra photo is of a red squirrel having his tea. We were in Benmore Gardens for a late walk as it became cooler this evening, and came across him (her?) beside the giant redwood walk.