Let’s talk about borage.

Image source. Contributor: Katie Kristensen.

There are so many reasons to love borage and one of those is that borage stacks functions like a boss.
Its ornamental blue starflower is pretty to look at and its cloak of spiky hairs reminds me why it is good to have some boundaries. Borage is a self seeding annual, hardy, drought tolerant and low maintenance plant; it saves you coin because you can generally find it for free in your friends ór neighbours’ gardens. And once you have one plant in your life you will have subsequent plants for as long as you want them. Forever sounds good.

Use borage as:

  • soil improver
  • living soil protector and water retainer
  • weed suppressor
  • insectary – native, european, and bumble bees love it for food and shelter
    Read more about these uses here.

Known for nutrient mining, invite borage into your garden as a:

  • nutrient rich mulch candidate
  • compost party queen

Borage is regularly touted anecdotally as a:

  • pest deterrent reducing leaf eating caterpillars and tomato hornworm
  • companion plant – increasing resistance to pests and disease especially for tomatoes, strawberries and cucurbits.

And of course there’s the uses for your body, including heart and mind:

  • edible flowers and young leaves. Find suggestions for your belly here.
  • drinkable as tea: To 1/4 lightly packed cup of fresh gently crushed borage leaves, pour 1 cup boiled water, steep for 3- 5 minutes and add honey/lime/lemon to flavour your courage.
  • medicinable too with a multitude of uses covered here.

Finally, when you decide you have too much of it – and that time always comes – it is easy to pull up for uses mentioned above. Just remember to use gloves when handling mature plants or it’ll deliver a boundary reminder in no uncertain terms.