Monday, 17 August 2015

Borage blue...

Borage...without doubt the most successful thing I have grown this year. I can take no credit for it though...I planted the seeds, suspect I won't need to next year it will find its own is terrifingly healthy, literally buzzing with life. The Sweetpeas that I dreamt of curling their way up through it didn't stand a chance, they stalled and the borage leapt sensing their weakness. I found some little white flowers peeking terrified from under the borage canopy.  I've rescued them and they are now in their full sweetpea glory in a jar in my kitchen getting over their ordeal. Even the bindweed that is happy to try and strangle everything else on the allotment stays clear of the Borage!

It is a bit of a monster, a beautifully prickly, hairy monster...but I love it almost as much as the bees that swarm constantly over it. I sat and watched it yesterday, (really...better than tv) it is a very busy plant feeding all manner of insect life, the noise from the bees is almost hypnotic. I scatter the flowers in my hens nest box along with lavender, rosemary, oregano and mint...makes it smell nice and look pretty, the hens seem happy with their nest box potpourri anyway...until they eat it!;) Borage is of course edible to us too...the flowers make a Pimm's an event, and very photogenic. 

 I have this lovely book, The Scented Kitchen by Frances Bissell, it has a recipe for Borage pesto, you just replace the basil with the flowers. I will try it when I get over my suspicion of blue food and when I dare deprive the bees of some of its flowers. The book tells the story of how Borage was once thought to give courage and the flowers were put into the departing Crusaders wine, I kind of suspect the alcohol had more of an effect than the Borage but it's a nice thought:) 

I will always have a place for Borage in my allotment and at home but I might just keep the Sweetpeas well away from it next year!...


Comments are always welcome, nice kind ones at least! Any advice for a complete novice would also be gratefully received:) Thanks.