"She seemed to come suddenly upon happiness as if she had surprised a butterfly in the Winter woods"
(edith wharton)

Sunday, 19 August 2007

Borage, bees and potatoes

“It maketh a man merrie and joyfull. Use the floures in sallads to exhilarate and make the minde glad. Use everywhere for the comfort of the heart, for driving away sorrow and increasing the joy of the minde. The leaves and floures of Borage put into wine make men and women glad and merrie and drive away all sadness, dulnesse and melancholie. Syrup made of the floures of Borage comforteth the heart, purgeth melancholie and quieteth the phrenticke and lunaticke person.”
-- John Gerard, 16th century Herbalist

I lived in the 16th century, the words above seem so familiar to me and this morning, I was reading a herbal book and the picture plates, rang bells of memory for me. And I love borage. It is one of my favourite herbs. The borage in my garden, started off as one small seedling about 4 years ago. I was in the nursery looking at some to buy and a lady came up to me and said 'don't buy that, I have it all over my garden. I will give you some.' So she came to my home a few days later with a small plant..over the years it has self seeded all over the place. And I don't care. I love it.. there is just something so medieval about it... it takes me back to times past

I love the gorgeous blue flowers, as do the bees... every day the bees are busy amongst the borage. I have it planted near my strawberries as a companion plant. The borage faeries keep me company, while I garden. Just yesterday, when I was working in my vegie garden, I looked over at the borage and I could feel faery magick.. it was so strong. Sometimes, I can close my eyes and I can become one with the borage... it is like we have an energy exchange. I wonder when I do that, if I am actually taking on the healing properties of the borage? . . . .

In Elizabethan England, it was considered to lift melancholy. Culpeper said 'the candied or jellied flowers comfort the heart and spirits of those who are sick from consumption or from the passions of the heart'. Borage flowers in the house help bring about domestic tranquility and a cup of borage tea can help with feelings of vulnerability and disjointedness.

the Celtic name for it, barrach, means "man of courage" and obviously focuses on borage's psychological effects. A tea of borage flowers and mint is especially cooling in the summer. Try freezing the flowers in an ice cube for a nice garnish to iced tea, especially if you have a suitor. According to folklore, if the person drinking the tea is someone you would like to marry, it will give them the courage to propose. Borage is also known as tailwort, bee's bread, and starflower. read more about the magickal herb here BORAGE

I was quite busy in the garden yesterday. I planted the first of my potatoes - my spunta tubers. I also pruned a few of my lemon trees and mulched around them in readiness for summer. I filled my bird baths with water, netted over my strawberries so those pesky possums don't eat them all & I pruned the last of my roses.
last night I went to visit mum. She is doing really well- showering herself now, taking short walks and I am just amazed at how well she looks. No more of the grey colour that she had before her operation.... i know she is better - she is a little cantankerous ! ha! but ya gotta love her... This morning it is raining, so no garden for me today. I think I will play in my art room. and by the way - all the borage photos in this post, were taken in my garden
*~* I hope your day is filled with butterflies, magick, colour & fripperies! ~*~


amelia said...

So happy mum is doing so well and that you are enjoying your garden.

I so envy you when you talk about pruning your lemon trees. I'd kill to be able to have a lemon tree or any citrus tree!

Peggy said...

I just love "visiting" your garden! Glad mum is well on the road to recovery. Hope you are looking forward to your summer as much as I am to winter!

kim said...

I knew my dad was feeling better when he started to get ornery! I'm glad your mum is doing so well.

I love th post on Borage. It is so interesting.

We are moving to Austin Texas in October.

Julie Marie said...

Oh, the borage is such a beautiful blue I would love it even if it were good for nothing else.

Robyn, please keep doing what you are doing to keep the bees happy. I am worried about the bees.


Gemma said...

The Borage is pretty looks very much like an old botanical print.
What does it taste like?

Garden girl said...

Hope your mum keeps going so well, what a relief!
I've never seen borage...what else can you do with it? does it go into any cooking?

mrsnesbitt said...

Pleased mum is doing well.

Pam Aries said...

I am happy tohear about your Mum! Your garden is loverly! Merci for all the lore on Borage! Cool!

MissKoolAid said...

What a relief to know your mom is doing so well.

I never heard of borage before. Will have to look it up.

Thanks for sharing!

Bimbimbie said...

I love the alternative name of bees bread - haven't heard that before - one of my favourite herbs too. Oh go on Robyn leave a strawberry gift for a lucky possum *!* That's a good positive sign your mums getting stronger ... may the crankies continue lol ....... it's raining here at last, all night long, are you getting any too?

Lisa Oceandreamer S. said...

I have not heard of this herb but it was quite interesting reading about it and seeing the photos from your garden.
I was most especially HAPPY to read about your Mom's progress...what a relief that must be! It's always good sign when they start to rebel a bit! ha! She's probably going to feel like a whole new woman! I am SO glad!!

Anonymous said...

So glad to hear Mum is doing so well. As always I loved your tales and pics of your garden. Love Hugs and Blessings

Naturegirl said...

So pleased that mum is doing betterand feeling stronger!Hurrah!!!!

Borage I would love some seeds ..I shall be searching for them! I think I'll try to get some of the tea! Driving away sadness dullness and melancholy.. all that I feel in the dark of winter.
Like a squirrel I must gather and prepare for hibernation! hugs NG

Carmen said...

I am home and I miss you so here I am reading your blog and updating myself about your news!
Have a great Monday! Or maybe Tuesday for you, LOL

Sheila said...

I'm glad your Mum has done so well. What a relief to see her getting well again.
I love borage if only for it's colour. I read a very old quote recently, and tried to find it again for you, but without success.
It was something like..
'Sell everything you own and buy borage', and came about because of it's many uses.
I could use some about now..!

A bird in the hand said...

I've always liked borage; for some reason the name has always fascinated me and I have no idea why. Thanks for all the info. I make salads with only fresh herbs so I must see if I can find some borage.

So glad your mum is back to normal ;)

"See" you in early September.