Borage is a sweet little flower or, depending on your feelings, weed. I’ve got a ton of them in my garden because they propagate themselves so easily. The flowers are edible and my dog loves them. And the Elizabethans embroidered them all over the place.
As we explore historical needlework, we realize that certain flowers have certain rules and here is one: Borage is consistently blue. Elizabethans weren’t always faithful in their representation of flowers or plants in their embroidery. For instance, there are many purple flowers in nature including borage, violets, and lavender.
But Elizabethans did not use purple in their embroidery (this is a big statement and will be covered in a future post but go with us for now). For Elizabethans, borage was consistently embroidered blue.
So if you want to train your eye to an Elizabethan aesthetic, to think like an Elizabethan embroidered, to choose colors they would have chosen, remember borage is blue.