THYME

P. These are easily-grown aromatic plants for sunny positions. Many of the species are virtually unknown to amateurs and should be grown more widely. Thymus carnosus grows to about 10 in. with dark green leaves and white flowers in summer.

T. longiflorus reaches only 4 in. with tubular purplish flowers T.. citriodorus is the lemon thyme to about the same height. The form Silver Queen has silvery foliage and pink flowers, and aureus golden-coloured leaves. Note that the last-named shows its best colour in rather thin soil T. serpyllum has reddish-purple flowers. There are several varieties, e.g. albus which is, of course, pure white, Annie Hall (pale pink) and Pink Chintz (rose pink). Thyme grown as a herb can be raised from seed sown outdoors in April in a sheltered spot. The final transplanting should be to 10 in. apart. Choose a sunny position and if the soil is at all acid, work in some lime. Thyme for drying is cut in June just before the plants come into flower. Stock should be renewed every 5 years. The bushes can be split up and the pieces replanted fairly deeply so that the green tips are just visible above the surface.

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