There are a few plants that are very powerful plants for pollinators and borage is one of them.

Borage is easy to grow from seed, in fact once you’ve got some thriving in your garden you’ve probably got it forever because it self seeds around the garden and that’s a really good thing.

Not only are borage flowers really pretty in a rich blue hue, but there are hundreds of them on one plant. But the best thing about borage flowers is that they replenish their nectaries every twenty minutes or so as long as they are well-watered. This makes them all day bee bars.

Borage is easy to grow from seed and very rich in nectar Image: Jean Vernon

The flowers are open access so that the pollen and nectar can be collected by most pollinators but especially the shorter tongued species, like many of the solitary bees, hoverflies, wasps and flies.

There is a white strain of the garden borage which as you might imagine has beautiful white flowers. You can add the flowers to summer drinks and freeze them inside ice-cubes to add a pretty but practical cooling element to your summer menus.

There is also a perennial borage but it comes with a health warning because it is a thug and can spread. But it has soft mauve flowers on bare stems in winter and very early spring. The flowers coincide with the emergence of Queen bumblebees searching for a nest site. It’s called Trachystemon orientalis and you can learn more about it here.

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