Basil spices up summer gardens and recipes
Basil is the most popular herb in the U.S. The reason? It's versatile, flavorful, and ideal for summer gardens.
(Page 2 of 2)
We’re all familiar with the popular culinary basils including Genoa Green and Genovese. They are two of the best selections for pesto but some of these colorful varieties are also great choices for cooking and garden display:Skip to next paragraph
How to keep a holiday topiary alive
Christmas decorating with snowballs from the garden
The balance of light in the garden
Green in the winter garden
Subscribe Today to the Monitor
African Blue basil -- Green leaves shaded with purple; leaf veins and stems are purple. A wonderful ornamental plant.
Red Rubin -- Rich, dark purple leaves have a clovelike spiciness. May be a bit strong for pestos.
Cinnamon basil -- Dark green, distinctively veined foliage, spicy aroma with a hint of cinnamon.
Lemon basil -- Light green leaves are wonderful in salads and iced tea.
Purple Ruffles -- With ruffled, deeply toothed leaves, this plant is excellent for containers or as an ornamental accent in the garden.
Spicy Globe basil -- A dwarf hybrid loved for its spicy aroma, flavor and bushy appearance. Excellent for edging.
The endless summer
The close of the season doesn’t mean the end of a good thing. Most basils root easily in water so you can extend your harvest. Place cuttings in a small jar or paper cup on a sunny windowsill. Be sure to change the water daily to avoid stem rot, then pot them up before the roots get too long.
You can also freeze chopped leaves in an ice cube tray. Pop the frozen basil cubes into a freezer bag and use them whenever you want to spice up a meal and revisit the sweet days of summer.
PSSST: Liven up a boring plate of sliced tomatoes with your favorite salad dressing and a mixture of thinly sliced basils including Purple Ruffles, Spicy Globe, and Red Rubin. Yum!
Lynn Hunt, the Rose Whisperer, is one of more than a dozen expert gardeners who blog regularly at Diggin' It. She's an accredited horticultural judge and a Consulting Rosarian Emeritus for the American Rose Society. She has won dozens of awards for her writing in newspapers, magazines, and television. After a recent move, she grows roses and other plants in her garden in the mountains of western North Carolina.. To read more by Lynn, click here.You can also follow her on Twitter and read her Dirt Diaries.