Lemon and Lime Take Thyme

Every herb garden deserves an assortment of thyme–and there are plenty of wonderful varieties to choose from.  I have several…both in the ground and in pots.  Whether you plant your herbs in pots, in the ground, or both, make sure they are near your kitchen so that you can grab a handful of leaves and flowers to add to inspiration, flavor, beauty and aroma to your  meals.  My citrus thymes are grouped in a pot along with a gorgeously variegated lemon balm.  Here is what they look like:

A pot o’ thyme. From left to right: Lime Thyme with bright green leaves, Doone Valley Thyme with lemon scented foliage, and the tender perennial Lemon Curd Thyme. Variegated Lemon Balm adds height and brightens up a shady nook…shade helps this showy balm keep it’s two-toned variegation more stable.

The delicate leaves and flowers of citrus thymes are often recommended for baked fish and poultry, in marinades, on grilled vegetables, and in fruit and lettuce salads.  Theywork well with custards and flans, too. 

Did you know that thyme also contains a fragrant oil, thymol, that repels aphids and moths and so are beneficial grown next to plants plagued by these insects? 

While slugs are apparently resistant to thymol, it is possible to keep them out with pet safe slug baits.  And, for those herb munching bunnies and puppies who find the soft loamy soil in my herb garden irresistible for digging, I use colorful rubber coated wire fences.  I chose bright green (barely visible to the right in the above photo) to blend in but there are a rainbow of colors to choose from now and they can serve as a playful accent to your garden. 

A rainbow of stakes and fences.  Just what every garden nome needs.

So, what’s growing in your herb garden?  Do you have a favorite type of thyme?  Or perhaps a thymely or balmy recipe to share?  This summer, don’t forget to stop and smell the herbs…and nibble on a leaf or two while you’re at it.

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