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Thyme is another great addition to the herb garden. Thymus vulgaris can in fact be grown just about anywhere that is not waterlogged ,and has full sun. Light , well drained soil is best though , slighly on the alkaline side . Thyme is a perennial and there are an absolute multitude of types and varieties to choose from. Here a few of my personal favourites. T - citriodorous " Archers Gold " has lovely pale green leaves which are attractive in the're own right. The best variegated type is T vulgaris " variegata " with it's wonderfully marked leaves with hints of yellow intermingled with the green. For pure flowers alone I think the nicest variety is T serpyllum " coccineus " This one has beautiful crimson flowers and the plant creep slowly along the ground making an attractive feature in itself.
Thymes are so varied in their colours of flowers and foliage that if you have the space it is nice to devote a small sunny area just to them alone , therby letting them complement each other nicely.
If you like insects in your garden Thyme will be a great friend in helping you achieve this . They are great for attracting bees and butterflies too.
In the kitchen thyme can be used in a number of different ways .
Common thyme is best for stuffings , sauces and soups . But lemon thyme which smells great anyway can be used if you want a more fruitier , zestier kinda flavour. Thyme is popular for mediterranean dishes as well.
It can be collected fresh from the garden in favourable conditions almost all the year round , or you can dry the leaves if you prefer.
The slight downside is that like many herbs it can spread farther than you might want it to . If this happens give it the chop with a spade .
I have a friend who even freezes the leaves in little bags , she assures me this works well !
Also a light trim in late autumn or early spring will stop the plants getting straggly and less woody at the base.
I have about 5 Thymes myself and I'm looking to extend the collection. My favourite has to be T. vulgaris ‘Silver Posie’, what wonderfull white and green variegated leaves. T. serphyllum grows well for me, always seems to be covered in flowers. T. c. ‘Archer's Gold’ never seems to do as well as the others, a slow starter, but it is wonderful when it gets there. And the smells...I could go on forever!
nitebabe 19.05.2001 23:08
And there's me thinking that it came in a bottle....only joking! a very well written opinion:o)
Martin.rowley 19.05.2001 23:03
Something else to put in my borders, thanks, Martin