Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Currently I am in love with borage, also known as star flower, bee bread, and many other names. This little brilliant blue flower is so perky, so intensely blue, and so prolific! I urge everyone who has a garden to grow this plant! It is really useful if you like roses as it guards against Japanese beetle. It attracts bees like you wouldn't believe, and it is also a companion plant for strawberries. Win:win! With this in mind, I harvested lots of those borage blossoms over the last 2 days & made a Borage Syrup (recipe was a couple of posts back). Now I get to enjoy it on these sunny days with sparkling water & a squeeze of lime, or maybe some mint. It is also really great in a cocktail that I am naming 'Liquid Courage' as this flower was traditionally given to knights before they rode off on the Crusades, before they engaged in battle, and also given to suitors to work up the courage to propose to a young maiden! Lots of history with this beautiful plant, so many beneficial & aesthetic reasons to include this in your garden, and...here's the pitch: my lovely friend, Jill Mason, has a gorgeous shop on 34th & Belmont here in Portland, OR. The name of her shop is Starflower. In this magical spot you will find flowers, succulents, arrangements that will inspire you, beautiful hand made jewelry, Pink Slip Jam...and more! So, in addition to suggesting you include borage in your garden, I am also urging Portlanders to stop into Starflower. You will be delighted! And here's a little borage background for your enjoyment...
Borage flavored wine was a favorite of Celtic warriors preparing to go into battle; it was believed to bolster their courage.
Borage was once placed in the drink of a potential husband to give him the courage to propose.
Tea was once given to competitors during tournaments as a morale booster.
Has been used ceremonially in ritual baths or burnt with incense for daily meditation.