Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Thyme



I think I've mentioned before the difficulty I have planting up the 'walls' in the courtyard around the Grande Maison. Despite best attempts to improve it over the years, the shallow soil leaches away nutrients in no time, proceeds to bake in summer heat and has the water retention of a sieve. Last year it did OK with Nasturtiums. For a few weeks, 'Empress of India' took off, flowering profusely on it's starvation diet which nasturtium love, that is before the insect population of the world descended and devoured it in record time. Shame, could have been a beautiful thing.

My sister suggested that I plant Thyme. Sensible really, it's the perfect growing environment for a mediterranean herb and although I welcome it's culinery significance, I already grow it in a little herb 'area', I wasn't entirely convinced how it might look. Well todays visit to the garden section at supermarket E. Leclerc brushed aside any aesthetic fears I may have had as four varieties were on sale at just a euro fifty each. Decent sized pot too.



From left to right above, Thymus faustini, T. citriodorus 'Doone Valley', T. citriodorus 'Aureus' and another lemon thyme, 'Bertrand Anderson'. I brought thirty pots in total and spent an hour or so putting them in this afternoon. Do I need to tell you the smell is just terrific?



Of course I've fallen for thyme before. These pictured back in November are T. Preacox 'Snowdrift', a creeping variety. Sadly there's not much fragrance with this one but hopefully the late spring flowering should more than compensate for that as I'm reliably informed they're a mass of white flowers so watch this spot!

27 comments:

  1. What a very sensible sister you have! Your grouping already looks nice and its not even planted yet. Raised beds are a stroke of genius too...closer to the nose.

    Christine in Alaska

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thyme is one of my favorite herbs.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Rob those looks lovely. Your sister had a good idea. I hope they do well there.

    Love the light in the last picture, that's really beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thyme was a great idea- they should do really well there.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I think it's going to look great. You have a smart sister! :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. Wise sister, a very good suggestion. I love their leaves and the scents as you brush by.

    ReplyDelete
  7. The thyme looks great! It's something I should add more of to our garden.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I'm sure you'll have success -- all in good thyme. :-)

    I'd love to have the problem of planting up a courtyard like yours!

    Cameron

    ReplyDelete
  9. In "thyme" you will have a gorgeous herb bed. I absolutely love the stone wall...please take photos when it's all finished and let us see. I can only imagine the wonderful fragrance...

    ReplyDelete
  10. Rob, I can already see them spilling over and snuggling against the stones edge... lovely! We have quite a few varieties that we use as ground cover with T. pseudolanuginosus perhaps being one of our favorites as it creeps into the paths and spreads beautifully, slowly but beautifully.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Now you are talking, Rob! Adore thyme and can almost smell your heady post :) Can't live without it in the kitchen but have also used different varieties in between cracks in stone steps. I'm so envious that you are working outside, all looks so lush ... my life is covered in white on white on white!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Oh my goodness, Rob, what gorgeous specimens for that price!!! Glad to see you bought enough to fill it right up, the combo of stone and thyme is perfect. We have loads of Doone Valley, it is a fine one. We will be watching carefully, do please update as this progresses through the seasons. We have had difficulty with dying out in the center of older bits and would like to find a cultivar that stays pretty, if there is such a thing.
    Frances

    ReplyDelete
  13. I love thyme. I have some self-set thyme on the south facing terrace outside our front door and it smells fantastic when anyone walks on it ....it also hides all the unevenness of the paving!

    Have a great weekend :)

    ReplyDelete
  14. I've never seen so many varieties of thyme together! I used to have a lemon thyme, but it didn't like the spot where I put it. I love the first picture a lot!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Just read about the wind storms in France. Hope all is well with you and Karen and that your home didn't suffer any damage.

    Cameron

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hi Cameron,

    The storm tracked further west than here so we were spared the worst.

    The Medoc, Charente maritime and the Vendee took the full force which combined with a spring tide creating serious flooding!

    ReplyDelete
  17. I am so in awe and envy1 Sometimes I think it is thyme that is my favorite plant. Especially when I see wonderful pots of them as you have in your pictures :)

    ReplyDelete
  18. What a great place for thyme and I'm envious at the price! I love thyme -- for not only cooking but for the fragrance it gives the garden! Spring should arrive soon and the garden should awake -- I can't wait!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Glad to hear you are okay. We were concerned.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Here, Atlanta, GA, thyme 'Annie Hall' & lemon are the hardiest in my garden.

    Just read about the killing storms. Hope all is well with you & yours.

    Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

    ReplyDelete
  21. They look great in the pots, and what a bargain too. Can't wait to see them when they are growing and climbing over the wall, your sister had the right idea!
    Ulrike

    ReplyDelete
  22. What a gorgeous selection of thyme Rob and in no time you will have beautiful beds to run your fingers through! A great idea. I cannot wait to see how it all turns out. Your potted thyme is stunning. Great photos!!

    ReplyDelete
  23. i love your thyme post... great stone planting beds, too.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Hello there!

    So, I already forgot on whos webpage I found you in the bloglist.

    ANYWAY, LUCKY ME!!!

    Thyme is wonderful, but have you tried the wonderful evergreen sedum spurium Alba?
    http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Sedum_spurium_album_superbum_0.5_R.jpg at this specific spot?

    It's a lifesaver to difficult spots with poor soilconditions:-)
    Love your pics, reminds me of my youth when I lived in the Alsace region.

    Greetings from Stockholm ,Sweden, Hillevissan.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Now only will it look great Rob, it will smell great and the bees will love this new planting too!

    ReplyDelete
  26. This comment is years behind. But have you seem what the thyme does here. Kerry
    http://thefieldofgold.blogspot.co.nz/2010/11/thyme.html?utm_source=BP_recent

    ReplyDelete