Imagine being able to pick fresh lemons, limes and oranges right from your patio! Read more »
Cutting overgrown grasses by more than an inch or two at a time can create unhealthy brown and bald spots in your lawn – or ev... Read more »
Kids are eager gardeners. They love to experiment with colorful flowers, have an adventurous sense of design, and getting dirt... Read more »
Our Shear Ease® Grass Shears include a patented mechanism that prevents the blades from jamming or sticking when you’re trimmin... Read more »
The first time you try our PowerGear® Hedge Shears, you’ll be amazed — but it’s not magic, it’s gears. Our patented gear techno... Read more »
Our Easy-Pour Watering Can offers both capacity and control. The 2.6-gallon volume holds a generous amount of water that is eas... Read more »
Put your crafting skills to work and create a beautiful and unique fascinator that reflects your personal style. Read more »
“Painting” with tissue paper is not only fun but beautiful! Read more »
Mosaic tile frames are a beautiful way to display photos. Read more »
Designed for long, easy cuts down strips of Duck® Tape, our Duck® Edition Scissors feature a non-stick blade coating that preve... Read more »
Add distinctive style to craft projects of all kinds with a Squeeze Punch that makes every embellishment up to 2X easier to pun... Read more »
Designed for tight, precise cuts through Duck® Tape, our Duck® Edition Detail Scissors feature a non-stick blade coating that p... Read more »
A colorful, roomy bag is just the thing you need to carry all your belongings for a day at the beach. Read more »
Keep the kids busy on a road trip with their own art bag full of inspiration and the essentials. Read more »
This easy pillowcase dress looks adorable with pretty fabrics. Plus, it is super simple to put together, even if you have not... Read more »
Only our Stitcher Scissors provide precision and control that meet the needs of the most demanding sewers and quilters. Micro-T... Read more »
Our Seamstress Scissors are the perfect all-purpose scissors for anyone who cuts fabric frequently. The smooth action of these... Read more »
Choose our Dressmaker Shears for long, smooth cuts through multiple layers of medium to heavy fabrics. Extra-long blades maximi... Read more »
Looking for a sure cure for bored kids - make sparkly sea creatures! Read more »
Open-ended activities like this Busy Book can keep kids occupied in the back seat of a car AND spark fun family conversations! Read more »
It doesn’t take much to turn an everyday snack into something a little extra special. It is great to see how quickly you can a... Read more »
Our Preschool Training Scissors features a special training lever that opens the blades after each cut, helping children learn... Read more »
Children love our Designer Non-stick Blunt-tip Kids Scissors for the colorful handle patterns that make cutting fun and the non... Read more »
Our Designer Non-stick Student Scissors are larger than our Kids Scissors but smaller than adult scissors, perfect for those ol... Read more »
The beautiful mood lighting of lanterns at outdoor gatherings is fabulous, so why not craft up a set to use this summer. Read more »
Treat your children to their own special tent hideaway, then stand back and watch as the fun and adventures begin! Read more »
Make a thoughtful gift for someone this summer! Read more »
The StaySharp™ Max Reel Mower combines patent-pending technology with superior ergonomics to deliver best-in-class cutting perf... Read more »
Great for beginners, the unique design of this tool makes cutting perfect shapes from fabric a breeze — since you’re not managi... Read more »
Perfect for a wide range of sewing and quilting tasks, our Amplify® RazorEdge™ Fabric Shears sense blade separation and force t... Read more »
We use basil on top of salads, with pastas and over scrambled eggs. We whip basil into pesto and freeze it for the winter. We even keep a pot of basil by the kitchen door to keep away the flies, as they do in Italy.
Over the years, I’ve grown several different types of basils with unusual tastes and colors. Here are five of my favorites.
‘Genovese’ (shown above) is always popular in our garden. It’s the traditional basil that symbolizes authentic Italian cooking to many of us. This is my favorite basil for pesto, and I always squeeze a plant or two near my tomato and pepper plants.
‘Ararat’ is a variety I tried for the first time last year. This heirloom basil has a spicy-sweet licorice flavor, and you can see it above growing nest to my dwarf ‘Astia’ zucchini plant in a raised bed.
Just as my other basils, I planted this annual herb in full sun, after the last chance of frost and the soil temperatures had warmed. Basil thrives in well-drained soil, but needs adequate moisture during hot, sunny weather – especially when the herb is growing in containers. Feed sparingly with a well-balanced organic fertilizer of your choice, always following the directions carefully.
‘Amethyst’ is one of the prettiest basils I’ve ever seen, and I’ve grown it several years. Apparently, it’s the first and only purple ‘Genovese’ basil, and it’s stunning when served with orange or yellow tomatoes in salads.
Here you can see it growing in a pot in my garden. What you can’t see is that the basil is growing with two ‘Tom Thumb’ tomatoes, which happen to thrive in containers and small places. They produced small orange tomatoes, which provided plenty of delicious and beautiful salad fixings all from one pot.
When pruning, cut basil just above a cluster with two or more leaves. Then, toss your clippings into your next meal. This will keep your basil plant bushy and productive, rather than tall and lanky. Unless you want to eat the edible flowers, it’s best to prune the flowers as they appear, so the basil keeps producing.
‘African Blue’ is actually a perennial, so this pretty herb comes back year and year. Unlike other basils, this type has sterile flowers. That means you don’t need to rush to prune them away, as you would annual basil flowers. Instead, you can use these edible flowers as much as you want throughout the growing season.
In the photo above, the ‘African Blue’ flowers are just starting to bloom. Eventually, these purple flowers will grow several inches long on stems that look as pretty in a flower vase as they do stuck in a glass of lemonade. As ‘African Blue’ is a sterile hybrid of two other breeds of basil, you’ll need to start this one with cuttings or transplants, not seeds.
I’ve enjoyed this basil in various culinary dishes last summer, although some critics claim the high camphor content make this basil less attractive in the kitchen – even if it shines in your garden beds. You be the judge, and let us know what you think!
‘Purple Ruffles’ is one of the prettiest basils I’ve ever grown, thanks to its large, ruffled purple leaves. No wonder I felt compelled to plant it with these Proven Winners Supertunia ‘White Russian’ petunias last year. This basil is just as pretty as any of your ornamentals, as you can see here.
Luckily, you can grow this basil from seed or buy transplants from local garden centers. I like to infuse ‘Purple Ruffles’ in vinegar, because it adds a lovely purple hue and delicious flavor. These herbal vinegars are delicious in homemade dressings and pasta salads.
When it comes to basil, however, this is only the tip of the iceberg. There are many more basil varieties to grow in your garden. Which ones are your favorites? Did we miss one?