Last year was my "learn the hard way" year of growing basil. It was obviously also my first year of growing basil. And my first year of making pesto. It was a good year.
Basil is a sensitive little herb that does well being given a lot of positive reinforcement and pruned frequently. The only problem with that is it tends to wilt quickly so you have to be able to use it quickly. So I turned to the Internet for some basil wisdom.
It turns out you can keep basil in water (like cut flowers) on your counter top and it will keep for several days. I decided to give it a try since it is possible to get very bad advice from the Internet. Crazy, I know.
This basil was picked six days before taking this picture. I have used it as I needed to and it has stayed fresh and lovely. Plus every time you touch the basil it makes the kitchen smell like fresh basil from the garden. Yum!