Too Pretty to Touch

by Cynthia

Comfrey in Bloom

Comfrey in bloom May 2009. It is now over three feet tall!

This spring marks the third year for the comfrey plant I have growing in a corner by our deck. As of right now it is in full bloom and I just love it. Last year I wrote about all the wonderful uses comfrey has. It is a powerhouse herb for both in the garden as well as the home. I decided to grow it in our garden because of all its useful ways. There is just one slight problem though. I can’t seem to bring myself to harvest it!

Comfrey in Bloom

I love how the flowers are curled up tight and then slowly unfurl as they bloom.

I find it to be too pretty when it is in flower to cut it down for mulch and liquid fertilizer. I just can’t seem to do it! I have read that one can get a harvest off of comfrey about every 30 days during the growing season so it is not like it will not be back if I cut it down and yet I still do not touch it.

Comfrey in Bloom

Pretty in pink once the flowers open

Yet another reason I leave it alone is for the bumblebees. Last year they were in love with this comfrey plant as much as I was. So far this year the comfrey flowers have remained unvisited by the bumblebees but it still might be a little early for them.

Comfrey in Bloom

The flowers remind me of little petticoats- perhaps for some fairies to try on?

I keep telling myself that I will allow it to flower right now for the bumblebees as well as my own enjoyment but then I must use it for what it is being grown for. I do this to myself all the time really. I grow a particular plant for some useful reason and then find I cannot bring myself to harvest it. I end up falling in love with the sight of it in my garden and cannot bring myself to cut away at it. For instance, I have been known to not harvest all the various thymes I grow because then I will miss the sight of their lovely flowers that blanket the entire plant. I am far too kind in my garden and need to grow some thicker skin. After all, who am I gardening for? The plants seem to be winning….

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