S & J Nursery’s Thyme Varieties / Cultivars for Northeast Florida Herb Gardens
Thyme Herbs in the Florida Garden
Thyme is one of my favorite Florida garden plants, that’s right, ‘garden’ plants, not ‘herb garden’ plants. Yes, I break the rules, I love Thyme, and so I use it everywhere! Our minds are preconditioned to think of herb gardens as tidy little spaces in the knot gardens of England. And I do love a formal herb garden, such pretty little rows of herbs, each weaved in and through the others, all growing tidily in their own allotted space. And I will admit there is much to be said for order, structure, and balance in the garden.
But who is there to tell me I can’t just let loose in my gardens and do whatever I want? It is called it gardening therapy for a reason, no judgments, just you and the dirt battling it out as to what grows where. Right?
Why relegate such a hardy little wonder to the space of your herb garden? Plant it as a ground cover, use it as an edge of bed or border planting, plant it in between your walkway stones, or even in potted containers on the patio. It will thrive just about anywhere you plant it here in our Northeast Florida landscape, and provide you with lots of great free aromatherapy treatments every time you cross its path during your gardening therapy sessions!
Plant your thyme in any full sun area with well draining soils. Thyme is one of the few herb plants that, here in our Jacksonville and St. Augustine area herb gardens, we don’t have to try to hide from summer sun! It still however, will not love wet feet and should be planted into well draining soils and away from standing water afeard heavy rains.
Medicinal Uses of Thyme
Varieties or Cultivars through the Years
Today Thyme, or the extract thymol, is used extensively in mouth washes, toothpaste, sore throat treatments, and more. Historically Thyme was used as a fumigant to rid an area of flying pests, as a temple incense, and used for its antibiotic and anti fungal qualities. In Egypt it was used in combination with other herbs in the mummification process.
Culinary Uses of Thyme Varieties or Cultivars
Culinary uses for Thyme plants can interestingly be summed up into sort of the “season all” of herbs. It has been said that when it comes to using thyme in the creation of culinary delights, the theory was, that the saying goes… “When in doubt, use thyme”!
Thyme can be harvested and used fresh, dried, added to herbal vinegars, oils and butters.
Thyme Varieties or Cultivars for Northeast Florida,
Jacksonville and St Augustine area gardens
If variety is the spice of life then thyme may very well be the key! There are over 400 species of Thyme, most are small woody perennials or sub shrubs, aromatic little leaved wonders of the mint family. Some are upright, but most often I find cultivated forms seem to be spreading ground cover selections.
Perhaps my favorite part of growing thyme herbs is the bold variation between the scents, flavors and textures of each variety or cultivar. It’s always an adventure when gardening with thyme herb plants. There’s lime thyme, and lemon thyme, and silvery thyme, and woolly thyme, variegated forms of thyme, I could go on here for days. Many forms or varieties are available today, each with their own unique characteristics and common uses.
I hope you join me in giving these great little herbs a shot at the rest of your landscape and break them out of that herb pot on the back porch! Either way, plant a few thyme varieties and get some spice back in your life!