Tablescapes, Home Decor, Thrifting, Cooking

Friday, April 24, 2009

Basil Bliss

Do you like Basil like I like Basil?


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I was at my local nursery this week and found a new form of this favorite herb.  It’s called                            

   Boxwood Basil

It’s just as cute as can be and can be pruned and clipped (and used) so that it forms more of a boxwood rounded shape.  It stays small, growing to a height of 12-16”.  Of course basil requires full sun and does so much better when cut and used before allowing the plant to flower.  I searched online and discovered this is an exclusive Burpee seed item and can be ordered if you can’t find it in your area.

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I purchased a little pot to try but still plan to plant the traditional basil just in case.  I want to make sure I get my fill so I can make pesto later this season.

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I will look forward to watching this small plant  grow and filling out to a rounded boxwood ball.  Oh, it smells so good!

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While at the nursery I did a good share of browsing ~~ just anticipated a couple more weeks before I can really start purchasing flowers and herbs to plant.

I discovered this rosemary topiary!  Oh I love the charm of this look.  There is something about a topiary that has always appealed to me.  I love the little formed ball on top of the stem.  Do you just love the look of this patina pot???  It is just dripping with cottage charm!

This sweet topiary did not go home with me but I kept thinking about it.  I couldn’t remember if it was $26 or $36.  Passing near this nursery often, I decided to take another look today, thinking to myself I would splurge if it were $26.  Well, darn if it wasn’t  $36.  I was strong thinking how many dishes I could purchase for $36 ;)   and went home without it.

Recently I’ve been reading articles on how to achieve patina on your own clay pots.

Here’s one you might want to read and try for yourself:


                How to Add Patina to New Clay Pots

Gardeners love the look and charm of patina on their old clay pots, for some inexplicable reason, we aren't satisfied with the look of the clean, orangey-red color of new clay pots. We can't wait until our new clay pots have that lovely shade of green patina on them, and you don't have to

wait long, you can add patina to your new clay pots before you plant the first flower or flower seed in the new clay pot, here's how.
There are several methods to add patina to new clay pots, one of the simplest ways is to just let the new clay pot soak in water for a few weeks. Clay pots need to be soaked in water prior to adding potting soil and planting anything in them, or else the dry clay pot will absorb all the soil's moisture and dehydrate whatever you plant in it. Just make the initial water soak for your new clay pot a long soak to add patina. Place new clay pots in a container of water that is deep enough to cover the entire clay pot and place the container outside in a location that will receive plenty of sun. Algae will grow in the stagnant water, fueled by the sun, and add patina to your new clay pots. Leave the new clay pots in the water until they reach the desired patina look you want, which usually takes 4-6 weeks.
Another simple method to add patina to new clay pots is to use plain yogurt. You can use yogurt that has reached or passed it's expiration date for this patina method. Just slather on a thick layer of plain yogurt all over the new clay pots using your hands, sponge or paint brush, and set the clay pots in a shady location for 4-6 weeks until it reaches the color patina you want. Using this method to add patina will create an odor at first from the rancid yogurt, so place the yogurt covered clay pots in an out-of-the-way location so you can avoid the smell. The smell will be gone by the time the patina is on the clay pots.

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Martha had an article in her March magazine on this procedure.  It looks like a fun project to try.  I think I will do just that and perhaps make my own rosemary topiary in cottage charm fashion.

Do you grow herbs?  What are your favorites?

I’m so glad you stopped by today.  Please take just a minute to say hello so I know you were here!


southerninspiration said...

I was here....
I had some pesto at lunch was delicious. Do you know I've never made my it hard?

Chari at Happy To Design said...

Hi Donna...

Hmmm...this is a new kind of Basil to me too! Bet it grows really pretty...ohhh, and I just can imagine the smell! I really should plant some...herbs have never done well for me! But I do enjoy cooking with fresh herbs! I wish you and your new little basil plant the best!!! hehe!!!

Ohhh yes, I do love that rosemary's gorgeous!!! So sorry that it didn't work out for you to bring it home! I do love the patina of the clay pot! Thanks for including some ways of achieving that patina...very interesting!!!

Have a fabuous Friday, my friend!!!
Warmest wishes,

Bargain Decorating with Laurie said...

My husband always wants to throw away any pot that has moss growing on it!! I have to really watch him to keep him from getting rid of them. Thanks for sharing these hints about getting the patina on the pot. (My husband will really be upset when he sees me TRYING to get the moss to grow on our pots!) laurie

Miss Laura Lu/RMS4291960 said...

Hi Donna! So you do real plants too! Well, I wanted you to know I have a little something for ya over on my blog! Come and see and pick it up! God Bless! Lauralu:)

Anonymous said...

I love the smell and taste of basil. I had not seen this boxwood variety before.
I love the topiary but would find it hard to pay $36. It would just be charming though, wouldn't it?
We have good luck growing basil, lemon balm, pineapple sage, and rosemary here.

Southern Fried Gal said...

I really want to grow fresh herbs but I get so intimidated. I really like the look of that boxwood basil and love the rosemary topiary. I have a secret obsession with the smell of rosemary. My neighbor has a huge hardy one growing in between our homes and I always have to rub it when I walk by so I can release that wonderful fragrance - sick, huh?

Paula@SweetPea said...

Boxwood Basil is a new one for me. You will certainly enjoy watching it grow all season. I planted seeds a few weeks ago and have some tiny little seedlings growing. I can't wait for some fresh pesto. I make large batches in the summer, freeze it in ice cube trays, and then transfer the cubes to plastic storage bags. We have pesto all year. Happy Gardening!

southerninspiration said...

I've left you an award today my friend...come check it out.


Lisa said...

I am so not a gardener but I can see you have a serious green thumb! I know where to come now for gardening how-to's. Love your blog!

Sofia Striffler said...

Thanks for the tips on clay pots. I didn't know you can create the patina by letting them soak. Makes sense though.

Thanks for sharing the tip.

Amanda @ Serenity Now said...

OOOOoh, neat!!! A rosemary topiary!! :) I love it!!

The Stylish House said...

I have seen you on a few blogs I frequent so came by to say hi. Love this post, I had no idea you had to soak clay pots. This will be very useful as I have several new ones. Enjoyed my visit, drop by my place anytime. It is always nice to meet new friends.

Marty@A Stroll Thru Life said...

This is a new Basil to me also, but I love the smell and to have it grow in a neat little ball would also be pretty. Thanks for the info on the pots. I will give it a try. Good information. Hugs, Marty

Brenda Kula said...

I'm so happy to have hopped over from another link to find you. Because I'm a real herb lover. And I just planted that basil by seed last week!

Shannon said...

I love the patina on old pots too. I'm going to have to try that soaking trick.

Cami @ Creating Myself said...

I can't use clay pots w/ the heat we get heer in Texas. They must be plastic to keep from drying out too fast. :o(

That boxwood basil sounds interesting. I love pesto & use it in soooo many ways!

I do grow herbs...I grow chocolate mint, peppermint & spearmint, italian parsley, curly parsley, oregano, pineapple sage, rosemary, common sage, Texas tarragon, garlic chives, thyme & lemon balm...all of them grow well in pots. My hubby also grows lots of peppers. I water them & tend to them but I consider them his. ;o)