ART: Nasturtiums at Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum Courtyard

Beginning April 3-mid-April.

–nasturtiums (Tropaeolum majus) were one of Isabella Stewart Gardner’s favorite flowers.
–grown at her greenhouses at Green Hill, the Gardner family estate in Brookline & Beverly summer home.
–Isabella hung nasturtiums from the balconies of the courtyard for a public viewing the week before Easter.
–Her birthday is April 14.

The Gardner Cafe also features an Edible Nasturtiums menu. 617.566.1088 for reservations.

painting by Arthur Pope

–In 1919, Arthur Pope painted Nasturtiums at Fenway Court.

from the Isabella Stewart Gardner websiteFUN FACTS ABOUT NASTURTIUMS:

~ Nasturtiums are native to South America and were introduced to Europe by the conquistadors in the sixteenth century.

~ The word nasturtium comes from the Latin words nasus (nose) and tortus (twist), most likely a reference to the spicy scent and flavor of the leaves and blossoms.

~ The plant was given its scientific name, Tropaeolum majus–from the Latin word tropaeum or “trophy”–by Linnaeus because of the shield-like shape of its leaves.

~ Monet loved nasturtiums and planted them widely in his gardens at Giverny, including a place of honor in the border of the path to his front door.

~ In 1934, the Burpee Seed Company was about to introduce new colors of the Double Hybrid Nasturtium ‘Gleam’–the type of nasturtium that we grow today at the Gardner–when someone stole $25,000 worth of seeds from an experimental field.

~ During World War II, dried ground nasturtium seeds were used as a substitute for black pepper in Europe.

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