You can’t miss with borage

Posted: June 13, 2017

Sometimes there’s a plant or seed that’s so foolproof it’s perfect for beginning gardeners – a confidence booster – and yet so lovely that even accomplished gardeners include it in their landscape plans.

That would be borage, a soft, fuzzy herb with beautiful bright-blue, star-shaped flowers that hang in clusters. Borage is listed as an herb, and apparently the flowers are edible in salads and also make a nice tea. Honestly, I’ve never used the flowers for eating or sipping…just for garden pleasure.

Sow borage from seed directly into a flower bed or herb bed. This year year I sprinkled a packet of borage seeds in an empty, sandy patch of soil with good morning sun. Springtime is the usual season to sow borage seed, but it’s so rarin’-to-grow that it can be planted just about any time during the warm months. It may self-seed from year to year, and so establish itself nicely in a semi-permanent spot. In moderate zones borage may overwinter, although it is listed as an annual. Super economical either way.

With my borage blooming out now (mid-June) my plants fit wonderfully alongside the stalks of ever-taller sunflowers in back of it. Borage can be grown in mixed containers of flowers and herbs, as it is not a heavy feeder and its light-green leaves mix well with other textures and colors.

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Nan Chase

NC Garden Ambassador at Sow True Seed
Writer Nan K. Chase has written about topics as diverse as the history of Islam and the history of the mini-skirt, about beauty pageants and about nuclear energy. An award-winning investigative journalist, she has written for The New York Times, Washington Post, Air & Space, Southern Living, and many other publications. A long-time gardener, Nan lives in the mountains of western North Carolina.

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