If you want to attract fairies to your garden, try planting a bed of thyme, or so the legend holds. You don’t want fairies or don’t believe the legend? Grow thyme anyway because it works well with almost any food and is considered one of the fines herbes of French cooking. Harvest before it blooms and use it in stews, soups, bread, salads, make herbal butter, or use a sprig as a garnish. It will be an asset in or on almost any dish you serve up. This is not the thyme that grows as a ground cover and is especially adept at filling cracks and crevices in pavements but it is an attractive herb that can be grown in a pot on a windowsill. This kind of thyme is easy to grow and doesn’t need pampering or a lot of attention. It is even said to repel cabbageworms and whiteflies as well as enhance the growth of tomatoes, potatoes and eggplant. Bees love the flowers so you might want to consider setting up a beehive nearby.
Type: Perennial herb.
Bloom: Small tubular lilac to pink flowers are borne in terminal clusters in early summer.
Foliage: Small, oblong to lanceolate, opposite leaves with edges rolled under.
Size: 3-12” H x 12+” W.
Light: Full sun to partial shade.
Soil: Average, light, dry, well-well drained.
Fertilizer: Apply an organic, nitrogen rich fertilizer monthly for abundant growth.
Hardiness: Zones 5-9.
Care: Cut back to 3” in spring to encourage new growth; shear after blooming; replace when bushes get woody (every 2-3 years).
Pests and Diseases: Susceptible to fungal diseases and root rot if grown in overly moist soil; can be infected by spider mites.
Propagation: Layering, cuttings in spring, division in spring or fall; seed.