The ancient Greeks called it the King of herbs. There are many cultivars of basil, selected for their fragrances and colors. Basil likes a well-drained soil and regular watering. It appreciates a good mulch covering over the roots. Basil is a tender annual and cannot tolerate frost. It sometimes seems like the leaves turn black if frost is just in the forecast! If it doesn't get frosted, basil sometimes will live for two years. Basil is easy to grow from seed. Sow in place after all danger of frost has past. Basil is a traditional ingredient in Mediterranean, Italian and Thai cooking, used with beans, rice, pasta, tomatoes and eggs.