BORAGE AND BEES
On the very few sunny days we have had this month I have noticed a lot of bee activity on the Borage which has self-seeded in a large clump in an area of my garden. To capture a bee on photo has been difficult as they tend not to hang around on any one flower for any length of time.
The herb Borage originates from central Europe and the Mediterranean. The flowers and leaves are edible with a cucumber taste. The plant is said to 'lift the spirits'.
Introduce Borage to your garden and it has a tendency to take over, so be prepared to be ruthless with much of it ending up as compost, even when it is looking at its best. When pulling up I use gloves, as I find the prickly white hairs on the stems can irritate the skin. Before composting, break down the structure of the woody stems by crushing, as I find this helps to speed up the decomposition process.
Do leave some though, as great nectar for bees, as the honey below shows.
The bright blue flowers of Borage produce a delicately flavoured honey. The bees are taken to the field and when they have finished collecting the nectar, the seeds are harvested to produce Starflower Oil. Click on Borage for all the benefits and facts about the plant.
A recipe - salad of Borage and garden flowers
a handful bull’s blood leaves
20 borage flowers
10-15 purple or pink violet flowers
1 rose, petals only
a handful rocket (with flowers if possible)
4 dill fronds
10 purple basil leaves
1 unwaxed lemon, grated zest, juice of ½
30g parmesan, finely grated
40ml extra virgin olive oil
Wash the leaves and flowers and gently pat dry.
Place in a bowl with the lemon zest and Parmesan and season with sea salt and black pepper. Squeeze over the lemon juice and drizzle with the olive oil.
Toss the salad lightly with your fingers, check the seasoning and serve immediately.
This recipe and photo is taken from the Waitrose website.