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13 messages
21/07/2012 at 10:35
Hi We've recently moved into a new house and I'd be very grateful if someone could help me identify this plant which has appeared in our garden and has taken over our veg plot. It has also appeared in the flower boarders in several places. It looks like it has been planted in the veg plot by the previous owner of the property and started out growing similar to potatoes, it has become very prolific and has masses of 5 pointed blue flowers, all the stems of the plant are covered in very sharp fine stinging hairs which penetrate my gardening gloves.
21/07/2012 at 10:45

A picture would help but it may be green alkanet

21/07/2012 at 11:02

Well borage has 5 pointed blue, flowers, self seeds prolifically and is hairy/bristly but I'm not sure about the penetrating gardening gloves bit?

21/07/2012 at 11:28

It does sound like borage, are your gloves quite thin?

21/07/2012 at 12:05
Sorry for the lack of a photo but being new to this forum and using my iPhone I was unable to load a photo to the post, however I was using thin rubber gardening gloves and learned very quickly that these were unsuitable and now having looked up both plants suggested by yourselves on google it looks very much like borage, not sure what use if any it is to the beginner veg plot gardener and as its described as very prolific in the write ups on google I think I'll get rid of it now before it takes over the whole of my garden.
Thank you very much for all your help.
21/07/2012 at 14:55

Don't get rid of it all - it has it's uses. We might have some sunshine some time and it is traditional with Pimms

21/07/2012 at 15:32

I agree - don't lose it all! You can eat the leaves/flowers when young - they have a cucmber taste. I keep mine because the bees absolutley love it.

21/07/2012 at 15:43

However, if it's Green Alkanet rather than Borage, get rid of every little tiny bit 

21/07/2012 at 16:47
Thanks everyone sound advice especially love the idea of saving a bit to go in a Pims in the nice weather that's finally arrived
30/07/2012 at 00:03

I sowed borage in my garden in Essex once.  I also fell for the 'good with Pimms' story.  Well it probably is, but how many times a year do you drink Pimms? Be honest, now?  I found it to be what gardeners call "an invasive plant", as in, it keeps growing even when you don't want it to.  It does have quite pretty blue flowers, but the 'cucumber-flavoured' leaves are only edible if you boil them so they don't cut your tongue with the nettle-like spikes.  I'd rather buy a cucumber.  I agree that the bees like it, but if you're short on garden space I'd look for a plant which YOU like as well as the bees.

30/07/2012 at 07:44
Thank you for the advice, after talking to a neighbour who planted some a few years ago and has since had this plant pop up all over her garden I decided it was time for it to go!! The idea of popping some of the flowers in pims sounded great but as you say how often do you drink it! I'm glad I made the decision to get rid of it!
30/07/2012 at 09:38

If the flowers are so blue they make your eyes hurt it's prob borrage!

04/08/2012 at 07:28

I love borage

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13 messages