Friday, July 10, 2015

Nasturtium 'Summer Gown' - Review of a Not-So-Pink Nasturtium

When I was looking for seeds at Burpee's website a few months ago,  I was instantly drawn to a picture of an unusual and gorgeous Nasturtium that was new for this year.

Burpee's picture of Nasturtium 'Summer Gown'
It was the new Nasturtium 'Summer Gown', which, according to the picture, looked like it would be a bright neon pink.  Imagining containers full of these showy pink flowers, I ordered the seeds and planted them.  However, this is what the Nasturtiums actual look like now in bloom:

Nasturtium 'Summer Gown'
Pretty, but not truly pink, though some of the flowers do fade to get a two-toned, burgundy and pinkish effect.

Nasturtium 'Summer Gown'
To be fair, if I had read Burpee's blurb on this flower, the actual description of the color is 'a rich, deep burgundy-purple that gets still bluer over the summer'.

Nasturtium 'Summer Gown'
Ahh, that is a much more accurate account of the color, as my 'Summer Gown' flowers are definitely more a burgundy and not the brilliant pink of the picture on the website.  Was that picture a mistake?  How did they manage to get a picture of a brilliant pink Nasturtium on the website?

Well, I can actually see how they got this, for when the sun shone on the flowers...

according to the camera
...interestingly, my camera picked up a lot of pink, even though my eyes did not.

faded Nasturtium 'Summer Gown' bloom, looking a little more pink on camera
With the sun, some of the blooms did look almost scarlet to me, and some of the later blooms are picking up blue and purple tones...


...but I have yet to see any actually pink flowers.  I'm wondering if the picture on the website is a mistake, a disconnect between the people picking out the camera shot and the people who are describing what the actual flower looks like.   With its more subdued and delicate colors, I think 'Summer Gown' would look very pretty in a border or combined with other flowers.  As a solo star in my containers, however, the effect was sadly lackluster.


I did notice that the blooms in my container that got more sun faded more quickly than in the container that got more shade, so my flowers might have gotten overheated during our warm spell. Thus I think the colors would be a little more showy in cooler weather or with a little more shade. But still, anyone wanting to plant Nasturtium 'Summer Gown', note that in my case the description has been far more accurate than the picture.


So far, my 'Summer Gown' flowers are decidedly burgundy, not bright pink.

Has anyone else grown 'Summer Gown'?  Anyone get brighter colors than mine?  And anyone grown any truly pink Nasturtiums out there, maybe of a different variety?

19 comments:

  1. Freshly opened nasturtiums and green nasturtium leaves here get picked for salad no matter what the color. Both are spicy and delicious although you have to shake the flowers to remove any insects in there. I've never seen pink ones, but I bet they are spicy too! What you see is not always what you get!

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    1. Very true! I always grow nasturtiums in my veggie garden, but I can never bring myself to pick the blooms to eat as they are so pretty.

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  2. I've not tried this variety but certainly would have if I'd seen that picture! A bit of a disappointment to be sure. Guess I'll stick with bright orange and yellow nasturtiums.

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    1. Yeah, the actual blooms were pretty, but a bit of a letdown after expecting the bright pink.

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  3. I never knew that Nasturtiums existed in other colors than yellow and orange. That pink one is stunning. I Can imagine that you are disappointed. Did you contact Burpee for an explanation?

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    1. I've seen Nasturtiums in red and rose colored, but not actually pink. I'm sure the photo is a mistake, as their description of the burgundy color is actually accurate. I noticed someone already left a review on Burpee's website about it, and I tweeted and tagged them, so hopefully they will realize their mistake and change their photo soon!

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  4. I guess if you are in the business of selling flowers, you will make sure the photos in the catalogs look really appealing. Easy enough to make them really, really appealing with photoshop. But as you mention, red is one of the hardest colors for a camera to represent truly. Anyway, nasturtiums are a plant I have never tried. I need to give them a trial here and see how they do.

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    1. I do wonder how much is enhanced by photoshop in catalogs, but this color was so different that it wasn't even the product, so I'm thinking it was a mistake. Nasturtiums are pretty easy to grow, though they like cooler weather and usually look rather ragged and need some shade if it gets too hot. There are some gorgeous and really vibrant red and orange varieties.

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  5. I grew some orange nasturtiums this summer. I made the mistake of planting them in full sun, and now that the hottest part of the summer has arrive, they are getting fried. I have not seen any bright pink ones as advertised in the photo. I had a similar experience with some yarrow. Supposed to be bright pink but were almost the same color as your nasturtiums.

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    1. That's too bad. I'm growing some yarrow that is pretty bright pink. I wish I knew the name of the cultivar to tell you, but it was a pass-a-long plant. I did once plant gladiolus that were labeled yellow which turned out to be bright pink - and that definitely looked like a mistake in the bed it was in!

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  6. I have grown many Nasturtiums over the years, doubles, which I didnt like, yellows, bright red, deep red and orange of course, never seen a pink one. Your last picture does justice to 'Summer Gown'

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    1. Oh, interesting, I've never seen doubled ones before! I personally love the bright red and orange ones. These ones weren't quite as bold and striking.

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  7. Hi Indie! I did have a truly pink nasturtium several years ago. I don't remember its name and I didn't collect its seeds. So, it spent only one season in my garden.

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    1. Oh, I wonder which variety it was! I've heard of 'Cherry Rose' nasturtium, though people have said it is more rose than pink. It likely depends somewhat on the soil and climate as well, though.

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  8. I love your burgundy nasturtiums, although the faded colour looks like a completely different variety. I think plant companies have a lot to answer for when it comes to ruined colour schemes, I wonder how many plants I have bought over the years that didn’t turn out as described or pictured!

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    1. Yeah, I'm not quite sure what is going on with the faded ones. It gives it a two-colored affect, but up close, some of those faded ones are rather odd looking. Very true about color schemes - I tried to match several different colors for petunia seeds for my whiskey barrels this year shopping online, and I ended up with a few surprises!

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  9. Indie - The erroneous color could have been a printer's error but more than likely it's a photoshop or lightroom screw-up. I buy a lot of daylilies via mail order and I'm OFTEN disappointed that the daylilies I get do not bloom with the deep, vivid colors of the catalog. I've reached the point where I view it as fraudulent advertising because that much saturation of color in those daylily pics is deliberate.

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    1. That's too bad! Before I buy plants online, I usually like to look at regular people's photos, like on davesgarden.com to see what plants actually look like, as they are often not nearly as nice as the store picture, or the store photo only shows the flowers and not what the whole plant looks like. This one was new, though, so I took a chance. At least it was just a packet of seeds.

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  10. Many of my special nasturtiums were lackluster this year...the regular ones that self seeded were and are still blooming.

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