The long awaited re-opening of Boston’s elegant Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum is here.  If you haven’t been, it’s bucket-list worthy!

This 15th century styled Palace, Fenway Court, is an especially perfect place to court a Valentine, plan a Gal-entine rendezvous, or even a stroll-solo to remember that certain someone who  pops into your “wildest dreams”. If you know of Isabella Stewart Gardner, you know “wildest dreams” were part of her signature-style.

Courtyard at The Isabella Stewart Gardener Museum

Although visiting Isabella’s manse is always a treat, sometimes just seeing her courtyard is enough to chase away any shade of winter grey.  The space is skylight-bright with floral exclamation points. Because Museum horticulturalists use off-site greenhouses this Eden manages to have nine blooming seasons ~ each wrapped in flawless floral temptation.

There’s always something wow-worthy to see at the Gardner, but early Spring may be the most special season of all, and, it unfurls early.  When this peach-toned museum was home to Isabella, she began the tradition of draping nasturtium vines out of balcony windows in early April.  Mrs.Gardner’s legacy thrives in every inch of  Fenway Court but most especially in this flirtatious sway of technicolor petals. For nearly three weeks, spicy colored streamers bloom above the courtyard in celebration of Isabella’s April, 14th birthday.


If you’re not quite ready to end your covid-quarantine with a visit to this botanical bliss, you can channel the charms of Isabella’s style by planting your own nasturtium seeds.  They’re easy to start and once spring comes to your palace you’ll be weeks ahead of the traditional growing calendar.

Non-heirloom Nasturtium seeds in  packs

Like wild dreams, nasturtiums seeds germinate quickly then bloom intermittently for months. Their inch-sized, ruffled faces play well in the garden or potted plants. Once in bloom they’re content in bud vases or bouquets and their seed pods add unconventional interest. Not just another pretty face, this riot of color also accents summer dishes with peppery flavor.

Nasturtium are pet friendly plants. They’re a safe compliment to romantic balcony windows or any Palace you call home.

potted begonia,mandevilla, petunias, and nasturtium : Corgi optional but Isabella was an animal lover.

potted nasturtium are happy to spill every where.

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum,  25 Evans Way Boston, MA02115 :  617-566-1401  :  Tickets are available on line and timed to be covid-compliant.

off site greenhouse training nasturtium with assorted foliage (photo credit: Diana Brown McCloy)




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