I have done it! I have grown basil from seed to such a size that it actually looks like a viable, usable basil plant. In fact – I have not one, but TWO pots of this wonderful, unique phenomenon. (Any readers of previous posts will be aware of my basil issues. It normally stops at about 1 inch in size, no matter what I do)
I have no idea what it is I have done differently this year. I have a sneaking suspicion that the unseasonal, wonderfully warm weather might have something to do with it, and that when I try this again next year and North Wales has remembered it isn’t actually part of the Mediterranean, I may go back to struggling again. But for now, I am happy to bask in the glory of a basil plant well-grown. I even got a bit cocky and left one outside overnight… then got nervous and brought it back inside. My window sill is luckily full of sun for much of the day, so my basil can sit, pride of place, looking all lush and green.
The other thing that is doing quite well is the rhubarb that we put in last year. Again, with little input from me (probably why it’s doing ok) it has grown to lofty heights of deliciousness. So much so, that I had enough to make a rhubarb vodka liqueur which has gone down very nicely in the sunshine. I do remember the various homemade wines and syrups made from a range of vegetable and fruit produce when I was a child. They were normally delicious, but also lethal, so perhaps care should be taken if I dig out the old demijohns. Or at the very least a range of warning labels. However, it does seem to be one of the biggest benefits of having both a large vegetable garden, a reasonable number of fruit trees, and a wild area of brambles and rosehips. Making your own foodstuffs and experimenting makes me feel that the constant watering of the last month might actually be worth the effort!
I’m really looking forward to the next few months as the fruit trees and soft fruits start ripening. It is a (very) small silver lining about the current crisis and lockdown that, instead of doing my normal manic exam marking after school hours, I do have more time to be able to enjoy my garden, and play around with recipes. My son and I made a blackberry and apple ‘leather’ strip last year, and I can’t wait to make it again, but with different flavours.
I would say I’m looking forward to making homemade pesto with my basil, but clearly it is just ornamental – I won’t dare risk actually using any of it! Nope it can just sit there, looking pretty, a monument to my basil growing achievement. So thinking about it, I will still have to buy some…