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22/08/2008


my photo

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
15 nasturtiums
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.


14 comments:

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

My across the road neighbor kept bees for several years and the flowers in my garden have never looked better!

Happy weekend to you!

Gina said...

Oh I do love borage.. mind you hubby almost destroyed every last plant as they were taking over his precious space in the vegie patch!.. The flowers are perfect in salad aren't they? I throw them in a green salad with heartsease, nasturtium and calendular... Great photo with bee!! Gx

Marie said...

I love borage flowers, too. And they taste a little cucumbery. Amazing picture of salad...

Glo said...

Love the photo of the bee and the borage! Your posts are so informative ~ you add special ingredients so that all the senses are activated! Lovely!

Amanda said...

Oooh I love Borage my Aunt's garden is always overrun by it but it just looks so at home in her woodland like little garden! I never knew Starflower Oil came from it though - how interesting!!

Suburbia said...

That salad is a work of art! I love your photo of the bee it's very beautiful :)

Christy said...

So sweet! I'm dreaming of that salad!Oh, you've gt an award waiting for you in my blog. :)

Suzanne said...

Wow what a clever idea. The salad would look so nice presented on a table. Thanks for sharing.

the flour loft said...

I love the brightness of the flowers in the evening. I also use gloves to pull them out if they get too unruly. I have never done so but you can freeze them in ice cubes to put into Summer drinks.
x ginny

summerfete said...

I think I will sow my borage seeds even after your warning, on my head be it!! The colour is so clear.

Jekka McVikka says in her book of herbs not to compost borage unless you want borage seedlings everywhere?

Gorgeous blog!
Clare

Sal said...

I have a huge clump in my garden too!It seems to flower forever!
Interesting info about Borage..thanks ;-)

primrozie said...

That's one special salad :)
Borage oil is very good for you. I take it every day with fish and flax seed oil. I really need to start growing it again. The honey must be amazing.

Lavinia said...

Catching up on your blog. What endless variety you feature here, and your knowledge of botany is vast....

Plant Nursery said...

A salad for lunch is on the menu.your ideas and un-endless.