There is nothing boring about Borage, Borago officinalis. It is the epitome of why herbs are so great, and how you can enjoy them in your garden as well as their many versatile uses.
"Borage is Bold", and has been associated with courage literally, since medieval times by its ability, to make people happy, dispel their melancholy, and comfort the heart.
Borage is an annual garden herb often seen in cottage gardens. It is a culinary herb traditionally, which also has the good fortune of attracting bees with its beautiful vibrant "periwinkle blue" flowers. There is also a white-flowered borage, which is not as common. Borage prefers full sun, little water, and tolerates poor soil. It is a tall plant in the garden, reaching at maturity 2-3' high and and 1-2' wide. Its leaves are hairy and somewhat prickly. It easily self sows in your garden, but does not transplant well.
Borage is a great companion plant for strawberry plants, actually enhancing their fruit flavor and yield. Also, tomato growers will be happy to know that borage enhances tomato vine growth and disease resistance when planted near by. Borage plants are an excellent source of calcium and potassium, so be sure and compost your spent plants.
Borage flowers are terrific used as a garnish, decorating, and styling. When my borage is blooming I harvest the "periwinkle blue" flowers and make "borage ice cubes". Imagine "borage ice cubes" bobbing in a refreshing homemade lavender-steeped lemonade this summer.
Borage flowers are one of the best edible flowers to use in your home-grown mixed green salad. Sprinkle your spring and summer salads with edible borage flowers, and your salads will "wow".
Candy your borage flowers for decorating and garnish, by crystallizing them for your special occasion cakes, cookies, and tea breads. Harvest and pick off your borage flower heads by gripping the black stamen tips and gently separate the flower from its green back. Rinse and dry edible borage flowers, holding one flower by a petal in your hand, dip a small unused artist paintbrush into a slightly beaten egg white at room temperature, and cover your entire borage flower. Dust your borage flower entirely with a superfine sugar. Let each flower dry completely on a waxed paper surface till free of moisture. This could be a number of days depending on your humidity. Store your dried, crystallized borage flowers in an airtight container. You probably will want to use them right away, but you could potentially keep them as long as a year. Garnish your desired sweet.
Besides borage flowers, young borage leaves have a slight cucumber flavor, and can be used in many types of recipes, too, such as chopped in fresh salads, added to cheeses, with pastas, and as a substitute for spinach.
My enamor with borage is for its beauty and benefit in the garden, and its fabulous attribute as a styling and decorating garnish. Its many additional uses include cosmetic, medicinal, and further culinary uses such as drinks, sauces, jelly, syrups, and more. Be bold with borage, and add some to your life.