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Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum Presents Annual Hanging Nasturtiums Display

The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum once again displays hanging nasturtiums. The vibrant, orange nasturtium vines have been a popular courtyard display since Isabella Stewart Gardner annually exhibited the flowers during her lifetime. This year, the museum opened its display on April 4, 2012.

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Clements & Howcroft, 2009

“Every year each plant gets a great deal of careful attention,” said Anne Hawley, Norma Jean Calderwood Director of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. “All of the extra consideration is apparent when the beautiful orange blossoms adorn the courtyard each spring.”

The Museum’s central courtyard is filled with flowers and plants including fragrant hyacinths and several types of daffodils. Dark blue cineraria, orchids, azaleas, and orange- and lemon-flowered Clivia minata will be shown with orange Abutilon striatum (flowering maple) against a background of green. The large, orange Clivia minata that will be part of the display have been in the Gardner Museum collection for over forty years; the yellow-flowered specimens originally came from the nursery collection of Allen Haskell in New Bedford, Massachusetts.

“The nasturtiums are such a highly anticipated display every year, and we are proud to help continue this wonderful tradition,” said Mark Crandall, Regional President for TD Bank. “The opportunity to support the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and the nasturtiums display is truly a privilege for TD Bank.”

The tradition of hanging nasturtiums in the Courtyard began during Isabella Stewart Gardner’s lifetime. She often hung the plants to coincide with the opening of the Museum the week before the Easter holiday. Nasturtium vines, Tropaeolum majus, are grown from seeds sown in late summer and are intensively cultivated in the Gardner Museum greenhouses through the winter in preparation for the spring display.

The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum—a work of art in totality—is at once an intimate collection of fine and decorative art and a vibrant, innovative venue for contemporary artists, musicians and scholars. Housed in a 1902 building, modeled after a 15th century Venetian palazzo, and a 2012 wing, designed by Renzo Piano, the Museum provides an unusual backdrop for the viewing of art. The Collection galleries installed in rooms surrounding the verdant Courtyard contain more than 2,500 paintings, sculptures, tapestries, furniture, manuscripts, rare books and decorative arts featuring works by Titian, Rembrandt, Michelangelo, Raphael, Botticelli, Manet, Degas, Whistler and Sargent. For more information on the new wing, please visit Also, visit the Gardner Museum online at for more about special exhibitions, concerts, innovative arts education programs, and evening events.

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