Silver Thyme

Silver Thyme,
a ornamental culinary herb

"What sweet-breathing presence
Out-perfumes the thyme?
What voices enrapture
The night's balmy prime?
'Tis Apollo comes leading
His choir, the Nine.
--The leader is fairest,
But all are divine."

-from "A Wish"
Matthew Arnold


Full sun & scant water are the primary requirements for Silver Thyme (Thymus vulgaris 'Argenteus').

I had originally planted a bit of it in a sunny spot beyond the reach of the watering hose & a year later it was all gangly & scruffy-looking, which it will be if it gets too wet. Though I'd not been watering it, its spot was on a downward slope, & apparently too much water did reach it.

I moved it to the hot dry street margin & it sprang back much bushier & pleasant. I thought I'd dug all of it up from the previous location, but some silver thyme erupted unexpectedly from the previous location.

Silver Thyme is named for the silvered grey & green color of the evergreen leaves. In July it produces tiny lilac flowers in loose balls. It rarely grows taller than one foot. Cutting it back from time to time keeps it from getting too woody & dead-looking in the center.

Pruning can be incidental to harvesting fresh thyme as needed for kitchen use. The little shrub is richly aromatic & the leaves tasty in a wide array of dishes.


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