Thursday, July 12, 2007

Borage, lupine, and bachelor buttons

B. called it a W-E-E-D (spelled out, so the plant doesn't hear, as if we're talking in front of a two-year-old), but the large, hirsute plant that bloomed yesterday is borage, an ancient herb used for courage. In the micro-climate of my front yard (very different from the back yard), borage is thriving. It's nestled, if borage can do such a thing, between the lupines and the bachelor buttons that are about to bloom.

I could never successfully grow borage, lupines, or bachelor buttons in my gardens in Tremont, so this gang of three is a gift. And I don't think they even like each other.

After a trip to the mystical, rocky place called Newfoundland during the drought of '88--where Newfoundlanders were fanning themselves on porches, sweltering in the 75-degree heat)--the only plants flowering and thriving were lupines. They soared five to six feet in the air. In the background were herds of elk and far off, a train.

Frank Green once grew borage five feet high in Tremont in his famous garden on Tremont Street. But Frank is a magical person for whom plants would grow on demand.

He's also that way with animals: Mike DeCapite tells a story of dropping in on Frank one day, and finding him surrounded by four or five cats, a couple dogs, various screeching birds in cages, and a rabbit in his lap.

Back to borage: it's only a W-E-E-D if you don't like it.


Nin Andrews said...

Okay, I'm thinking I have some clearforks in my garden. Some plant has got these little invisible spikes on it. I don't see them but afterwards my arms all itchy and red. And no, it doesn't have leaves of three.
I think you owe the ESW a clearfork poem!
And um, check out my new blog! Please? It needs work, but hey . . .

dixiedreams said...

i like that borage is for courage. and that "cour" means heart in french. maybe wearing borage on our lapels will make us courageous? borageous? hmmm.