I seem to have been travelling down memory lane a lot recently what with teenage holidays in Wales and Sunday School concerts. I suppose that’s one draw-back of growing older, your single track road turns into a 3 lane motorway of memories to choose from.

Not that reminiscing is a bad thing, in fact I quite enjoy it occasionally, though nostalgia isn’t what it used to be. (Sorry couldn’t resist that, the old ones are still the best.)  Anyway, I can’t look at a nasturtium without thinking about my grandad.

He was a kind, gentle man whose arm was wounded quite badly in World War I. He and my grandma were married for just short of 60 years. My grandma actually died the night before their Diamond Wedding Anniversary.

Too late to notify anyone, the morning brought cards and bouquets of congratulations including a telegram from the Queen. The following day brought more flowers and cards but this time of sympathy for our loss.

They lived in a small back-to-back terrace. I can still remember going with my dad in winter to put a tilley-lamp in the outside loo to stop the pipes freezing. All they had was a small yard at the front.

I don’t know if my grandad was a frustrated gardener who longed for a garden, or whether he was content with his lot, I was a bit too young to wonder such things. However, he did grow nasturtiums and, I think, antirrhinums.

As a small child I liked the nasturtiums as they attracted caterpillars that I could collect in a matchbox. I’m not quite sure what I did with them after that. I also liked to collect the seeds which were like little green jewels. I don’t remember allowing them the luxury of ripening.

Today I grow nasturtiums primarily to keep the black fly off my broad beans. Previous years this has been most successful, but for some reason failed miserably this summer.

Nasturtiums thrived, broad beans had lots of black fly. Not that it seemed to hold them back, as I was able to harvest another bumper crop for the freezer.

I cleared the bean plants away ages ago, but the nasturtiums remain, and what a pretty and colourful sight they are too. A much underrated flower I think. Easy to germinate and grow, they produce an abundance of seeds to sow for the following season.

Of course you can buy packets of seeds with interesting names, but how much more fun it is to sow your own and see what develops. You might produce a real corker and it doesn’t cost a penny.

Here is a selection of my favourites.

Please excuse the weeds, buttercups and nettle, haven’t got round to weeding these beds yet.

This yellow one is very sweet, I doubt they come true from seed but I’ll definitely be saving the seeds for next year.