Perhaps the easiest annual herb for your garden, basil adds a great touch to any bouquet and, of course, a sensuous aroma. To use it in arrangements, let the flowers develop, and then cut a 6- to 12-inch stem that includes both the foliage and flowers.
Growing basil from seeds is simple. For the best results, wait until the soil warms up--usually around mid-May. Scatter the seeds in a garden bed, and lightly cover them with soil. Keep them moist until they germinate, and then water when the soil dries out. Basil doesn't need particularly fertile soil and, in fact, produces a stronger flavor if grown in poor soil. It is also easy to transplant as a seedling.