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Growing Golden Lime Thyme in your Garden

5/3/2011 9:48:57 AM

Tags: Ali Hawkins, Thyme, Herb Varieties, Herb Profile, Lime Thyme, Common Thyme, Lemon Thyme, Gardening

A. HawkinsAli Hawkins has been gardening since she was young; her family always had a garden out back and she used to love planting and drying herbs.  As she has grown up and moved around the world, she has found a constant comfort in gardening and herbs. Read her blog at Adventures of an Urban Gardener.  

I was recently at the Colonial Farmers' Market where I ran across golden lime thyme. (Say it out-loud; it's kind of fun.) How could I resist; it smelled amazing and I had never seen it before! So I am now growing lime thyme in my garden.

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I am now growing golden lime thyme in my herb garden.
Photo by Alison Hawkins
 

This got me wondering about thyme, a very commonly used herb. How many different types are there? How many are used for culinary purposes? I thought I'd share a few little interesting facts I found.

There are more than 350 species of thyme ... who knew? Increasing this number are the various hybrids as well. Thyme is most known for its array of culinary uses, but it is also used in medicinal preparations, and as edible landscaping, groundcovers and shrubs. When looking for culinary thyme there are two families to focus on for the best flavor: common thyme (Thymus vulgaris) and lemon thyme (T. x citriodours).

Common Thyme  

• It grows to about 12- to 18-inches tall.
• It can be used as a shrub.
• It has gnarled woody stems.
• It features dark green or gray-green leaves.
• A few plants that fall into this category are English thyme, English wedgwood thyme and French thyme. 

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English thyme is a variant of Thymus vulgaris.
Photo by Alison Hawkins
 

Lemon Thyme  

• It grows 10- to 12-inches tall.
• It features bright green leaves.
• Emits a sweet and lemony perfume.

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Lemon- and lime-scented thyme varieties can be excellent culinary herbs.
Photo by Alison Hawkins
 

Make sure to plant any thyme in freely draining soil and sun. They are often hardy and can over winter to at least 14 degrees. 

So, the best part of growing any new herb is using it in the kitchen. I am thinking I'm going to try to make a citrus chicken marinade using the lime thyme, so stay tuned for a recipe (hopefully).

Do you have a favorite type of thyme? How many different types do you grow?  



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