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Borage makes a surprise entrance at the Villas…

As I parked my car on the drive the other day and opened my door to get out, I noticed a very unusual plant growing partially beneath our leylandii hedge (please note that we didn’t plant this hedge, it was here when we moved in and we keep it trimmed and very much under control).

Dry and Shady Spot

Borage - fuzzy leaves and stems Back to the mystery plant. What surprised me initially was that it was clearly thriving in a tinder dry and shady spot where virtually nothing else grows except the odd dandylion! It’s stems were long, fuzzy and admittedly gangly, so not necessarily the most conventionally attractive plant in the garden but the mass of blue flowers on it were exquisite. I’d never seen anything like it!

Facts about Borage

As soon as I got in the house I got on the internet and identified it as Blue Borage. I felt thrilled and honoured that it had chosen the Villas to put down its roots! I went on to discover the following fascinating facts about the plant:

Borgae seed head It can be used either as a fresh vegetable or as a dried herb. As a fresh vegetable, borage with its cucumber-like taste, is often used in salads, in Pimms or as a garnish. The flower has a sweet honey-like taste and as one of the few truly blue-coloured edible substances is often candied and used to decorate cakes and desserts. Apparently every part of the plant except the root is edible, although the leaves are best eaten young and tender. It can also be used in companion planting.  They say it helps protect legumes, spinach, brassicas, and even strawberries…

Medical

Flower and bud In addition, borage holds medicinal properties and Naturopathic practitioners use it  for regulating the metabolism and the hormonal system, considering it to be a good remedy for PMS and the hot flush! Borage can also be used to alleviate and heal colds, bronchitis, and respiratory infections, and in general for its anti inflammatory properties – the flowers can be prepared in infusion.

And all from a plant that turned up unexpected and uninvited – but most welcome – under our hedge! Apparently it self-seeds liberally so I plan to have lots more Borage dotted around the place over the next few months… woot!

7 thoughts on “Borage makes a surprise entrance at the Villas…

  1. Borage is one of my favorite herbs. Here it will even grow in hot sun. That true blue flower is hard to resist.

    1. Hello Jane

      Thank you for your comment.

      How interesting that Borage is a favourite herb of yours – as a Borage novice I’m interested to know how you tend to use it?

      Bridget

  2. When we decided to change from lawn to edible landscaping, borage leaped out of the articles as a plant to try. I’ve never used it medicinally, but love the gorgeous flowers and soft hairy leaves. I sowed seeds once, but now it come back on its own accord-such a reliable plant. Thanks for all your research and information, Bridget.

    1. Hello Benita

      Thank you for your comment.

      Like you I don’t expect I shall have to actually sow Borage seeds myself as this mother plant will hopefully produce plenty of babies of its own. I will probably collect and scatter some seeds though, to help a little! How lovely it would be to have a bank of Borage running the entire length of the hedge… Have you noticed whether it attracts pollinating insects?

      Bridget

      1. Hello, It is an absolute favorite of honeybees in my garden. It reseeds here and there in my vegetable garden. I keep two beehives and they are at it constantly.

        Enjoy your borage, and enjoy local honey.

        Mary Lou

        1. I’m really pleased to hear that – any friend of the bees is a friend of mine! We too are hoping to keep honey bees in the not too distant future and have just completed a practical beekeeping course…

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