“No occupation is so delightful to me as the culture of the earth, & no culture comparable to that of the garden. Such a variety of subjects, some one always coming to perfection, the failure of one thing repaired by the success of another, & instead of one harvest a continued one thro’ the year. Under a total want of demand except for our family table I am still devoted to the garden. But tho’ an old man, I am but a young gardener.”
That’s what Thomas Jefferson wrote to Charles Willson Peal on August 20, 1811. Mr. Jefferson had it right. One thing, among many other, that makes gardening so rewarding for me is that there’s always something new to learn about plants and their cultivation.
Take basil, for instance, which I, like many of you, have grown for many years. I’ve always been satisfied with a good harvest, …