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Scarlet Nasturtium at Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

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Courtesy of Metro West Daily News

Under the care of chief horticulturist Stan Kozak, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, which I introduced you to a few weeks ago, has installed scarlet nasturtium vines descending down from the third floor balconies of the Venetian-style palazzo.

This tradition, occurring every April and dating back 100 years, is to celebrate the arrival of spring as well as Isabella Stewart Gardner's birthday (born in April 1840). These flowers are cultivated exactly the same way Isabella Stewart Gardner grew them, which requires nearly 10 months of care in the museums greenhouses before they can be draped over the balconies.

Peter Crowley, chef and owner of The Gardner Cafe has started a more modern tradition in recent years, serving colorful edible flowers in a variety of dishes including in an entree of cold poached Atlantic salmon. He also creates dishes like Chamomile panna cotta with lemon thyme poached pears and nasturtium blossoms for dessert. Yum!


Courtesy of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum


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Comments (1)

  • There is no where else in the world where you can see these stunning vines running down the Venetian palace walls! Isabella and Stan are amazing. The museum experience is extraordinary, personal and again, like no where else in the world. When in Boston, put it on your top 3 things to do (right next door to the Museum of Fine Arts)...if you're name is Isabella, you'll get in for free!....Also look for the stair railing made from an iron headboard...and oh, yes, the Titian story.

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