Wednesday, June 13

Garden Pic Wednesday: Blue Borage!

Garden Pic of the Day: 
The delicate blue star-shaped flowers of Borage, an editable herb plant & garden flower.

I've never grown it before, so it's a new addition this year.  It has large seeds and sprouts readily when planted.
The flowers & leaves are edible, but I wanted it for it's blue color and to attract bees. Honey bees, Bumble bees and all sorts of bees are supposed to love it!
The leaves must, indeed, be delicious, since snails were devouring them on several plants when they first came up.
 I had to put down snail bait in the vicinity and spray the plants with Neem oil---but all survived to leaf again and bloom.
They're about 24 inches tall and some stand straight up, while others tend to flop over. They need a little staking. 

Here's a Borage bloom in a vase in the house:
A stem broke off while I was staking some this morning. You can see how pretty the star shape is. 
Borage is also called: Star Flower, Bee Bush, Bee Bread and Bugloss.

Borage Edging the Back Rain Garden:
I have a good number of Borage along the edge of my rain garden, here (in the gravel area) mingled with Agapanthus lilies and cone flowers. 

What I've Learned About Borage So Far:
I read Borage like boggy areas, but turns out that is incorrect. One heavy rain killed all the Borage along this row pictured. It didn't like drowning.
 Fortunately, I had more scattered in other beds. So it definitely doesn't like wet feet.
I did read, as a bee attracter, it's valuable to plant near strawberries and someone else wrote it was useful at opposite ends of a cucumber bed.
It's a large-leafed, soft-stemmed flowering plant, though, that tends to flop over. Edible leaves & flowers, but doesn't keep it's flavor dried. 
I also read Cone flowers are good for rain gardens:
This is not true. 
They hated it.
 I had to move all 4 to other beds, where they'd doing better now.

Handful of Blackberries:
Hybrid blackberries were one of my better investments. They're thorn free, tall (about 4 to 6 feet and need tying to stakes) and have been faithfully bearing for 15 years at least.
I've collected about a quart. I'll be making blackberry jam, which I is the best use for them. 

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