Friday, 7 May 2010

BORAGE the Herb of Gladness, Joy and Courage returns to the garden

Speckled Borage 

We love our speckled borage scattered through our winter garden so we always let some go to seed and then reappear where ever it chooses.

Those of you have grow borage before know that it will reappear everywhere. But is is easily removed to pots or the compost. Some people do not like growing borage because it would take over your whole garden if you let it.

We love borage in the garden because the neighbourhood bees love borage and appear in mass once the beautiful blue flowers appear in spring. We love the local honey it is dark and flavourful and makes delicious honey mead. We also use that honey in any thing we bake or sweeten.

Some people eat small quantities of the leaves in baked goods, we add them to the compost.

But the flowers we add to drinks, salads, fresh fruit and cordials.

Here on the Adelaide Plains it is starting to get colder at night. We have had sufficient rain for the garden and the seeds we have planted are germinating and need thinning out or moving.

Spring Flowers

We call our winter garden our green garden because with limited space available we mainly grow green leafy vegetables and lots of herbs.

So the menu here changes from zucchini fritters to spinach fritters. The soups have lots of Asian greens, chillies and chives added to them. We shall be having mustard greens, fenugreek and coriander added to curries. Spinach pies will reappear filled with all sorts of green vegetables, parsley and herbs.

As the delicious flavour of fresh tomatoes fades to a memory, citrus trees are ripening ready to be added to salads, muffins, fritters, drinks or just eaten fresh.

We are so lucky here in Adelaide to be able to grow  and enjoy fresh vegetables and fruits all year.

But the herb of the week here is beautiful borage.

Dorothy Hall in her 1975 copy of The Book Of Herbs suggests a variety of uses for borage.  She says borage is the “Herb of Gladness” and is a great tonic which gives courage and joy to warriors! It is used in teas, salads, salad dressings and as the ideal companion plant for strawberries.

How do you use borage?


Veggie Gnome said...

We feed it to our sheep, when they are good! ;)

I like the flowers in salads. Thanks for reminding me to try and do more with our borage.

It's such a beautiful plant with its dainty flowers! We let it self-seed, too.

Ps.: Beautiful post, Maggie! :)

chaiselongue said...

I love borage too - it grows all along the edges of the vineyards here, and in our garden. I use the flowers in salads and the leaves with sheep's cheese in pastries made with filo pastry.

Kate said...

Now this is very helpful because there is lots of borage in the local Community Garden and I was wondering what to do with it. Tomorrow I will pick some and strut home like a warrior!