The basil seeds sown directly into the large terra cotta pots that will be their summer home have sprouted, despite the cold air that spring hasn’t yet managed to chase away.
So, I’m confident that I’ll have a robust crop for pesto, and all the other fresh dishes the herb enhances, in just a few weeks.
I planted Genovese basil and one that I haven’t tried before — lime basil. In the past, I also added a colorful purple basil plant to my container garden, which at the time seemed quite exotic to me.
However, as the Bard might have said (if he had a taste for the herb): there’s a lot more to basil than dreamt of in my philosophy.
During my recent nursery outing, I found that not only did it carry the three aforementioned types of basil — in addition to the widely available sweet basil — but it offered an impressive array of other basil for the picking.
There were racks and racks of Indian basil, Thai basil, spicy globe basil, Rubin basil, compact green bush basil, African blue basil, purple ruffles basil, dark opal basil, cinnamon basil and sweet Dani basil. That’s a whole lot of basil; an endless source of future garden experiments!
I immediately began trying to imagine the possible uses for each of these varieties, making some assumptions based on the names. But, we all know what they say happens when you assume… Rather than fall prey to that fate, I’ll call on you for assistance:
Have you grown any of the basil highlighted here? How did it perform? What uses — culinary or otherwise — did you find for it?
I think I’m going to need a much larger balcony.
[Leave your comments below.]