Thyme isn’t necessarily something you think of in a forest setting but this is a Food Forest and I have a wise woman cottage in mind. How could I leave my Mediterranean spices out? Lucky me the mostly come from similar climates. We have so many aromatic natives, I have been adding them to my list. Still won’t give up my herb garden.
I have been growing my own herbs so long that I don’t worry about where and how market economy spices are grown and processed. For those of you who do use volatile oils, note that market economy thyme oil is frequently extended with turpentine oil. The spice itself can be contaminated with soil and insect parts.
Thyme is easy to grow in a pot if you live in an apartment and in well drained soil if you have a little soil available to you. One square foot will do it. A friend of mine planted herbs around the edge of her small apartment patio. She loved sitting out there smelling her herb garden. The maintenance man noticed but just laughed and now and again cuts a few herbs to take home for dinner. He slways said they needed “trimmed.” I offered to give him a few starts too, but they enjoyed visiting over the herbs. It was her first garden! Next, she’ll take up cooking. But for now she loves coming home after work and sitting on her scented patio chatting with the neighbors.
It makes pretty lavender-blue flowers beloved by bees and butterflies. My friend loves the butterflies but isn’t too certain about the bees. Three years in without a bee sting and she’s good.
I kept mine in a pot for 3 years now. It’s blooms look nice on my patio. It is suitable for planting here, it is hardy to zone 5 and likes rocky, alkaline soils like mine. There are several different thymes, and I generally grow lemon thyme for its lemon flavor and yellow edged leaves.
Thyme is another medicinal and has many uses. Herb gardens were traditionally medicine gardens more than spice gardens. I love the tradition of it and plant an herb garden every place I live. I usually plant them close to the kitchen but always have extras mixed in my flower beds for beauty and for butterflies.
I use my herbs for cooking and good scent.