Spot of Gardening

Gardening in South Louisiana

Thyme for Me

In every kitchen garden, there should be an herb garden.  In the herb garden, there are several herbs that should be included.  One of them is thyme.  I love thyme as a herb in the garden and in the kitchen.   There are over a 100 varieties of thyme and they are difficult to differentiate.  The most common are the Garden Thyme (Thymus vulgaris) and Lemon Thyme (T. citriodorus), which most people are familiar with.   Thyme is actually a member of the mint family and is a perennial evergreen shrub(in my case, it has been more of an annual) and like many herbs native to the Mediterranean.

Thyme doesn’t do so well here in the Deep South due to the humidity and the heat.  Last year’s thyme didn’t survive the drought of June in the ground even though I watered them faithfully.  This year, I will plant them in pots which will allow them a better surviving chance.  I picked up a coconut thyme, a variegated lemon thyme and a silver lemon thyme at the LSU Garden show.   I’ve seen some interesting creeping thyme available at the nurseries, also.

The coconut thyme ( T.  pulegioides coccineus) is often sold as an ornamental or groundcover online (I googled it since I’ve never seen a coconut thyme before).  I’m not sure why it’s called a coconut thyme because it doesn’t smell like coconuts at all.  It tasted fine but I’m wondering if it is really edible?

The lemon thyme is a favorite of mine and it’s definitely edible.  The silver lemon thyme (T. citriodorus ‘Argenteus’) is a usual guest in my herb garden but the variegated lemon thyme (T. citriodorus variegata) will make an interesting decorative statement when used as an herb in various dishes.  Upon a closer look, the silver lemon thyme doesn’t seem to have any silver edging so it may be just a plain ol’ lemon thyme (T. citriodorus). I’m still considering picking up an English/French thyme (Thymus vulgaris) but this variety doesn’t seem as hardy here in the Deep South (or maybe it’s me?).

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April 18, 2010 - Posted by | Herbs

2 Comments »

  1. I love thyme, too! I grow variegate lemon thyme in a large stone planter across the front of my house. It has been there several years and has lost most of its variegation. I added some more this year, and it is growing well. This planter is under the eves of our house and only gets watered when I do it, which can be a challenge. Most stuff dies in that planter, but the thyme is hanging in there! I love the smell as i approach the front door. I also have some thyme growing in my lady garden in the ground. It has been there one year. So far, so good.

    Comment by Deborah Elliott | April 19, 2010 | Reply

    • What a great idea. I would love to have a planter with thyme growing in the front of the house. Since it’s a bit difficult to keep the thyme going in the middle of the summer, I wonder if growing it in the front patio area would be successful?

      Comment by ryublade | April 22, 2010 | Reply


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