Friday, September 11, 2015

Borage, Phacelia and Comfrey

Mostly, the allotment currently looks like a demolition site. A battlefield, even. It certainly feels that way. But there is one wee oasis. In the floor of what was once a greenhouse I've planted three small beds, one with borage, one with phacelia, and one with comfrey. These form, (accidentally, I must admit) a lovely gradient, with the phacelia being a bit taller than the borage, and comfrey shooting up high in the background. They're all in flower now, and of an evening after a couple of hours hard labour and saying, "Oh! More fucking broken glass!", and looking down my nose at the Wood Chip Folk, it's wondrous to sit near these and watch the bees and hover-flies getting some autumn goodies. Bumblebees seem to prefer the phacelia, whereas honey bees like borage. All three plants are pretty good at suppressing weeds. The comfrey will go to another, permanent bed later. The borage and phacelia I'll try to harvest seeds from. On balance, I prefer the borage as a ground cover, insect attractor and weed suppressor, and I'll sow plenty of it next year.