Monday, May 30, 2016

Loving it here

Do you have a plant in your garden which just thrives and does well, no matter how little you care for it? (And that's not counting weeds, of course!).

Here in Garden Amateurland our happiest little person is that humble herb, thyme. Several years ago, it was almost taking over the joint, spreading across the pathway and loving life in a most fragrant and deliciously useful way.

This photo was taken back in 2010, and at least two-thirds of the plant is actually sitting on our pavers. Just the small portion on the far left had roots in soil. It's a good example of how in the wild thyme spreads itself over rocks on sunny hillsides. It's a sunbather of a plant.

Well, in 2012 we dug this herby marvel up and planted one remnant in a pot. It had to go as this is where our succulent patch is now located, and that big bush really was enough thyme for a thousand families, and there's just Pammy and me here doing the cooking and eating.

The wide, shallow pot of thyme still loves life here just as much as when it was in the ground, and it has spilled over the side of the pot and its roots have managed to find some soil in the gap around the base of our clothesline (that green thing poking up on the left side of the photo). 

It might just be my imagination but I think the thyme growing in the ground, around the clothesline, is a bit more fragrant than the pot-grown herb.

The pot-grown thyme is a bit more lush and green than the in-ground stuff, and that's because I do water the pot regularly. I guess the thyme in the ground must get some extra water from splashes and the moisture leaking through the drain holes in the pot, but it's just a tough plant that is doing great with hardly any help or encouragement from me.

I probably use thyme in the kitchen as often as I use parsley or basil, which is a lot. So all my regular harvesting of leaves does constitute pruning, and it certainly does make the plant bushier. Every now and then, if I haven't been cooking a lot lately, I do give the plants a very quick and crude haircut, grabbing handfuls and shearing them off with the secateurs. Into the compost it goes, and the aroma of the whole exercise is sensational.

I wish I could tell you the secret of keeping thyme thriving and lush, but I think that would mean that somehow I can take some of the credit for the fact that this little herb just loves almost everything about this backyard, but I suspect that least of all, it's me.

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