Basil is the queen of the herbs and one of the most popular and widely grown herbs in the world, both for its culinary and aesthetic appeal. Though often associated with Italian cooking, its origin is actually in the Far East: India, Pakistan and Thailand. Make sure to plant plenty for fresh use as well as for making pesto. The purple-leaved and small-leaved basils are valuable in ornamental and kitchen gardens. Basil seeds and plants are very easy to grow in the garden and in containers.