About Me

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The saying “Stop and Smell the Roses” is a favorite of mine.  I have now found a new saying “Love Your Basil”.  My Basil Herb Garden has not only been relaxing, but has brought me so much pleasure that I decided to blog about growing basil, all the different varieties of basil, and creating recipes for all the different varieties of basil.

Did you know that there are over 100 different varieties of Basils? I didn’t until I fell in love with them and started to collect all kinds of Basils! I now have over 60 different varieties so far and am always on the lookout for new Basils to bring home.

I love to grow basil, cook with basil, write about basil, and husband David is building me a new greenhouse just for my basil collection. My basils have already outgrown the new greenhouse, so there are plans for a new, larger one in the works for this winter. My contractors, (David and our friend, Richard) work for food. These West Texas guys have never eaten so many different dishes using Basil. I think they are enjoying my recipes because it’s already taken 3 months for this greenhouse to be built! lol

I have always loved to garden, but when I started my basil collection, I knew that this was the plant that I wanted to share with everyone. I create recipes with basil from Salsa to Ice Cream and will share these recipes with you. Some of these recipes can be found at my companion site: Cooking Vietnamese Food. Go there to get some mouthwatering Asian recipes and tips. And it’s not just Asian, it is specifically Vietnamese food and it’s different. Give it a try!

When I decided to blog about Basil, I needed a direction to go. From all my teachers including Ed Dale, Yaro Starak, and several others, I have learned that you need to make sure that you offer your readers what they want to know. That is what I intend to do. If you haven’t subscribed yet, just enter your email address in the side bar and I’ll send you an email whenever I post a new article.

We have a big adventure ahead…we have to find the mysterious Chocolate Basil! I just know it exists, even the NY Times wrote about it. I want to add Chocolate Basil to my collection and write about it. If you have any clue where to find one, I will treasure it forever. I will also share with you my lifetime journey from Saigon to Texas. I’ve had an exciting lifetime journey, and now I want to continue my quest to find the Chocolate Basil.

I want to share with you:

  • A listing of all the different varieties of Basils, with pictures and interesting information about them. Click here to read a great eBook all about basil.
  • Recipes for each of the different varieties of Basils.
  • A membership community where you will grow and cook with the different varieties of Basils.
  • Seeds for the different varieties of Basils. Yes, I want to share the seeds so you can grow your own basil.
  • We’ll put together a Basil Cookbook using all the different varieties of Basils. You can also learn more about the foods of Vietnam with an eBook on the history of Vietnamese food. It;’s healthy and delicious and they use lots of basil. Pretty interesting stuff there!
  • Products to help you with your Basils.
  • Adoptable Frogs, with the cutest personalities to add to your Basil Garden.
  • Will feature Basil Gardens from our blog community, that means YOUR Basil Garden!

I collect Basils wherever I go. David laughs at me and said I really need to carry a list with me, because I stand in front of a Basil I want to bring home, and start going through all the Basils I know I have.

Ramona and David Werst's Sherwood RanchDavid and I live in out in West Texas, by a spring fed creek and I want to show off our little piece of paradise and introduce you to my small zoo. Once you get to know me, you’ll see why I want to stay at home, grow basil, create tasty recipes, and play with all my little babies.

Our house is built up on pilings, which is a good thing.  A few years ago the creek rose and flooded the downstairs office!  Bobby my Bobcat lives in a pen under the house, he has his own jungle gym, and an observatory box that he can overlook his kingdom.  The chickens and ducks are right next to his pen in their own chicken coop that David built.  The ducks have a pond and the chickens have their roost.  I have all our chickens and ducks named after friends and family…I hope they are still friends! lol  David has even built me a barn at the end of our property for my miniature donkeys that I want to add to our family.  I have an indoor cat Sandy, 2 puppies, Starbucks and Bowie.  We saved Bowie from the pound and he’s our Parvo survivor puppy.

Joe David our son, recently got married to Callie and they live in Lockhart, Texas.  We love the drive to visit them because we go through the Hill Country, and sometimes to Fredericksburg.  This is the peach capital of Texas.  The famous Stonewall peach and Freestone peach are from this area.  They are also known for all the wineries. We tasted the most delicious Peach Wine, had a personalized label designed for the bottle and gave to our niece for her birthday.  Anything is possible in Texas!

I started my basil garden outside under the pecan trees, but didn’t want to lose any of them in the winter.  This is when David decided to build me a greenhouse.  Most of the materials used to build my greenhouse are recycled. The windows came from some folks remodeling an old house.  My work benches were bought from Habitat for Humanity at their overstock sale.  The shutters were damaged at Lowe’s, and several of the pots, I designed when we sold Vietnamese Pottery.  I’ve already nearly outgrown the new greenhouse with my small collection of 60 different varieties of Basil.  I want to see how many of the 100 different varieties of basil I can collect.  I am also hunting for the mysterious Chocolate Basil.  I will find it, but if you have a source, please share.  I have to have one!

I have filmed a few short videos taking you on a tour of our Sherwood Ranch:

This is my butterfly garden.  There is everything from a Batface plant, Esperanza’s, Purple Butterfly Bush, and Blue Bonnets.

The Monarch Butterflies were stopping at our Sherwood Ranch to rest before they finish their flight to Mexico for the winter.  David and I enjoyed turning our Ranch into a bed and breakfast for the butterflies while they stayed with us for a couple of days.

I love to make Salsa and Picante Sauce.  I use my own Jalapeno peppers from our pepper patch.  I even have a secret recipe that I will share for my Salsa using Basil.  Do you know which kind of Basil I use?  You will need to try the recipe to believe it!

Our spring fed creek is the home to large bass, catfish, ducks, a blue heron, and to several geese.  Here are the geese coming for a free meal. Pretty loud, huh?

We have ducks and chickens.  Each one is named after friends and family!  Life on the Sherwood Ranch is so exciting!

This is Bobby!  He’s my 11 year old, 50 pound, big baby Bobcat!

And finally, this is my kitchen, where I create all my Basil Recipes!

You’ve gotten to know alot about me, and I hope you will want to get to know my basil and cooking passion more.  I’ve lived in big cities from Phoenix, Arizona, to Nashville, Tennessee and I’m so proud to be a Texan now!  If you read my Lifetime Journey from Saigon to Texas, you’ll see why I was looking to settle down and relax, and “Love My Basil”.

You can contact me at anytime, I respond very quickly!

Ramona Werst

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{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

Wendie RahibNo Gravatar December 4, 2010 at 12:16 am

Hey, you used to write great, but the last few posts have been kinda boring… come on! 😛


KyleNo Gravatar April 12, 2012 at 8:16 pm

Ramona, just wanted to say we’ve learned plenty about basil from you here and really appreciate the time and thought you’ve put into this website. We’ve got various sorts of basil in our garden here in Austin and your advice has helped us find tasty new types.

Every and any thing you write is just fine by us, so don’t worry about the naysayers, and be sure to always know that some folks out there really love you!

Thanks again, and peace and health to you and yours.



RamonaNo Gravatar April 12, 2012 at 10:15 pm

Thank you for the kind words and support….I would love it if you would send me a picture of you with your basils and a write up about yourself and how you love your basil so I can add you to our Basil Friends!!! 🙂

Love Your Basil,


Lanie ShawNo Gravatar April 18, 2012 at 1:10 am

Ramona, I emailed you last fall regarding hot to root African Blue Basils. I must have offended you with my question, since, not only did you not respond to my email, but you also immediately took me out of your list for receiving basil info.

I do apologize for causing offense.

L. Shaw


RamonaNo Gravatar April 18, 2012 at 8:17 am

Oh,my!!!! I looked back and I never received your comment! I am so sorry…I try to catch and answer each one…I would never take you out of my list either…I hope you are back in….I know I haven’t added any articles or recipes lately, I am working hard to finish up the membership portion which will be fantastic….

I love African Blue Basil! It’s very easy to root too. All you do is clip a nice stem above a junction (leaf group) and immediately put in a vase of water…in about a week, you will see roots. Then once the roots have grown a little, just plant in good potting soil…I always use some worm castings to get my new Basil started. It will give it nutrients that will allow a good strong start. You can order from http://RamonasBasilGardenGifts.com I sometimes wait until it’s blooming and cut off a healthy bunch and place in a vase in my kitchen window sill and it not only is beautiful, but smells so nice too.

Love Your Basil,


ronNo Gravatar February 7, 2013 at 8:54 am

I am new to your site and I am thrilled.
We purchased chocolate basil plants several years ago from
Kitchen Gardens in Naples Florida.
Hope this helps and Thank you


RamonaNo Gravatar February 7, 2013 at 9:53 am

Is Naples, Florida where you are from? Can you go back and see if they have them this year….I am almost convinced that it is Chocolate mint, which is a cousin to basil….but I would love to see if they do have it again this year….can if you can take pictures with the label showing…this is so exciting to maybe there is Chocolate Basil!!!! And if you could get me the contact information, I’d love to see if they would ship me a few plants for my collection!!!

I’ll be anxiously waiting for your reply!!!

Love Your Basil,


M. A.No Gravatar March 19, 2013 at 3:19 pm

This is my new email address (previous address was manugent@srpnet.com). Is there any way to enter your basil seed giveaway without being on Facebook?


RamonaNo Gravatar March 19, 2013 at 4:04 pm

Yes if you are a subscriber to this blog…have you downloaded the free eBook ‘Love Your Basil’ in the sidebar? That will get you entered too…. 🙂

Love Your Basil,


topwinerefrigerators.comNo Gravatar July 29, 2013 at 7:52 am

I’ve learn several just right stuff here. Definitely worth bookmarking for revisiting. I wonder how so much attempt you put to make this type of great informative website.


RamonaNo Gravatar July 29, 2013 at 8:45 am

Thank you for your kinds words. It takes a lot of time, but is very well worth it…I have fallen in LOVE with Basil and will continue to grow and share my LOVE for Basil with you.

As you can see I haven’t posted in the past year much…I have been trying to recover from a life threatening surgery, but am hopefully on the road to recovery…I can’t wait to get back to growing my Basil.

Love Your Basil,


Darnell MartinNo Gravatar August 15, 2013 at 6:43 am

Yesterday I purchased and paid for three packs of seeds. I am wanting to add a fourth pack (Dwarf Greek Basil). I imagine it will not cost more in shipping to add a fourth pack. If not, how can we go about paying for the fourth pack without paying additional shipping? This was last night, so hopefully they didn’t ship yet.


RamonaNo Gravatar August 15, 2013 at 8:42 am

I will add the 4th package, and will send you an invoice just for the Basil… 🙂


John R. SeeleyNo Gravatar November 23, 2013 at 5:43 pm

Ramona: Some time ago I asked for your help in finding some Cuban or Mexican
basil. You were not sure, as I was, that the term basil here was in question.
Today the question was solved!! At our local flea market today I bought two
CUBAN “”””OREGANO”” plants! There are two varieties, regular and varigated. Time, and a move from south Florida to the space coast had erased the name,
from me and any other sources. Frost did the execution!
Weather has been crazy here. Dry when it shouldn’t, got almost seven inches this week. Garlic chives in blossom, covered with BEES. Love the bees!!!!


RamonaNo Gravatar November 23, 2013 at 6:56 pm

Yes I knew about the Cuban Oregano….but that’s not Basil… 🙁 I’m not sure if it’s used in cooking either…I had both of the varieties in my greenhouse and they are very fussy. If you bump up against them they break, but the good news is all you have to do is stick it in the ground and it grows. I also found out the hard way that they don’t like the cold…and even in my greenhouse with heaters, they passed on…I had them near the windows and they were climbing around the windows.

Thanks for letting me know that you found what you were looking for.

Love Your Basil,


Gia RobertsonNo Gravatar January 30, 2014 at 1:08 pm

Ramona, today I have discovered your website and it has made my day! I have always wanted to find out more about basils because I also come from Vietnam and we used to eat so many different types of basils and herbs back home! Now I am in Wisconsin and I miss the smell of fresh basil. I am not a gardener, but after reading about your list of achievements now I want to grow my first pot of basil. Love your wonderful lifestyle Ramona!


RamonaNo Gravatar January 30, 2014 at 1:28 pm

I’m so glad to meet you too! Have you visited the Basil List tab? I also have some Basil Seeds for sale…

I can’t wait until you grow your first pot of Basil…if you would take a picture of you with your Basil, email it to me with a writeup about how you Love Your Basil, I would love to add you to our Basil Friends tab….

Love Your Basil,


EQNo Gravatar June 28, 2014 at 4:55 pm

I am so glad I found your website! I am trying to ID a purple perennial plant that has sprung up in my yard (zone 5). I was surprised when I picked it that it smell lemony-minty. I searched for purple mint, then purple basil, and stumbled upon your sight. I can’t remember what color the flowers are, cause they don’t appear until the fall, and the plants get pretty tall if I don’t touch them – maybe 2-3 feet by fall. The leaves are not shiny smooth like basil, they are softer. From your list I am guessing it is closest to Aromatto Basil. I haven’t tasted it yet…I’m scared in case I’m totally off. Anything you can tell me would be so greatly appreciated! Thank you!


RamonaNo Gravatar June 28, 2014 at 5:19 pm

If it comes back each year, then it’s not a Basil…but if you send me a picture I can research and see if I can help identify it. 🙂

Having said that….if it flowers and is dropping the seeds and new plants are coming the next year, then it could be a basil.

Love Your Basil,


yarivNo Gravatar April 2, 2015 at 6:30 am

Hello Ramona.
I liked very much your collection.For long time I am looking for two types of basil:”purple bush basil” or “miniature spice basil;
purple bush basil it’s shown in your website can I purchase it through you? if not , do you know how can achieve does lines?
Do you suffer from downy mildew? i hope not , but if sow did you see any resistance in one of your collection lines.
Well done Job.
With thanks


RamonaNo Gravatar April 2, 2015 at 9:15 am

Thank you for your interest in Basil!

I have several Purple Basil varieties and miniature Spice Basils, please take a look at, Ramona’s Basil Garden Gifts site:


You can purchase right from that website. 🙂

We live in the south and once in a while have mildew. I just make sure I pinch off the bad leaves and keep in the sunshine.

Love Your Basil,


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