Common Thyme
Growing and Cooking with the Herb

Growing Common Thyme
Common Thyme is a plant which is best suited to well-drained soils and enjoys full sunlight. Unlike Creeping Wild Thyme it is a vertically standing  shrub, reaching a height of up to a foot (30 centimeters) high. Flowers appear in the summer and are normally reddish, ranging from pure red, through lilac to white. 

Ideally, Common Thyme should be planted in a part of your garden which doesn't get too much wind or dampness.  In the winter, if the weather is very cold or particularly wet, your thyme plants will be very grateful for a cloche or some similar form of protection against the extremes.

Leaves can be harvested for cooking use at any time of year, although any leaves that you wish to dry and preserve should be picked before the plant flowers. After flowering, cut the plant back by about a third, removing woody parts, to encourage fresh growth.

Cooking with Thyme
Thyme is a sweet aromatic herb which forms, along with bay leaf and parsley, the popular bouquet garni herb sauce mix which compliments many meat recipes.  Common Thyme, (Thymus Vulgaris), is the species most often used in cooking, but creeping wild thyme may also be used in culinary dishes.

Thyme was known to the ancient Romans, who used it in culinary preparations, as well as in aromatic liqueurs.  Its young leaves give an agreeable flavour to soups, and the leaves are also used in stuffings.  It also goes very well with chicken, turkey and lamb as well as fish and potato dishes.  Thyme should be added early in the cooking process so that its oils have adequate time to be released. It stimulates the appetite and contributes to digestion.

Creeping Wild Thyme
History and other Uses of Thyme
Cooking Basil
Growing Basil

Growing Sage

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