Thyme is a popular widely used herb that is admired especially for its culinary benefits and uses. It is a hardy herb which can flourish even in a pot or container. It would not even die if not watered very frequently. In fact it can even bear drought. Not only in terms of watering, thyme does not require large quantities of fertilizer as well. Thus it is a low maintenance plant from every possible facet which does not demand a lot of care and attention. It is also perennial in nature, meaning that it will have a tendency to come back again and again. It can grow to a height of around eight to twelve inches which makes it an ideal herb to be grown in a container.
Thyme is a beneficial herb that acts a natural attractor of numerous pollinators that bring additional values to any garden. In the stage of its blossoming, thyme tends to attract bees using its flowers. The flowers contain rich pollen and nectar which has the ability to appeal to pollinating insects and birds. While honeybee and native bees are nearing the stage of rapid reduction and potential extinction, thyme can help such essential populations to survive by being an effective pollinating plant. Apart from reasons for pollination, this attracting nature of thyme can bring a number of beneficial and beautiful bees, birds and insects in any garden and thus, add to the beauty and pleasure of a gardener’s dream garden.
Thyme is an attractive plant to grow and maintain in any herb or vegetable garden. It requires minimum of maintenance and attention and yet provides a magnificent view with its flowers which are usually shades of white or lavender in color. They contain a fragrance, which along with their beauty enhances a milieu of color, peace and health. The herb also acts as an eye-catching ground cover or decorative edging plant as well as attracting bees to pollinate tomatoes, eggplants and peppers with its aromatic blossoms.
Thyme can be of different varieties. Most of these can be bought from herb stores or garden centers in the form of seeds or plants. The most common of these is the Thymus vulgaris which is often known as the wild thyme or common thyme. This variety of thyme is the most commonly used for cooking. Other well known and widely used kinds of thyme are the French and German thyme. Also there are some types of thyme containing various citrus flavors such as orange or lemon.
The seeds and plants of thyme can be purchased from most of the garden centers and nurseries. Though the seeds are very small, they can be conveniently grown both indoors and outdoors in a sunny area a number of weeks before the last frost date. Thyme seeds typically tend to germinate within a week if grown in a warm sunny location. On the other hand, established plants can be dug during the spring days and divided in well drained soil rather than extremely soggy soil. The herb should be allowed to grow and blossom after the mid-summer harvest.
The sprigs and flowers of thyme are both edible. The sprigs can be easily dried and stored. The gourmet flavor and aroma of thyme can be used in preparing many dishes including breads, meats, stews, soups, and salads. It has been used since the ancient Roman, Greek and Egyptian times for its medicinal properties. It has effective antiseptic and remedial abilities. Thyme also contains perfume and burial qualities. In fact, during the middle ages, this herb was linked with valor and was hence often used as an emblem of courage on clothes. It was also believed by many to be a dwelling herb for garden fairies, such were its magnificence. Even in this generation, thyme is used as an additive for a lot of commercial every day commodities such as toothpaste, shampoo, mouthwash, perfumes, deodorant and colognes. Thyme has also been used as insect repellents because although it attracts helpful pollinators, it actually repels harmful insects. Thus, despite being such a beneficial herb, thyme is an effective attractor of pollinating bees and birds that is very easy to grow and maintain. It is an attractive addition to any garden.