The varieties of thyme abound-probably exceeding 400-but new hybrids appear every year because of its ability to cross-pollinate.
Thyme requires well-drained soil and plenty of sunshine, making them good candidates for container culture. The upright varieties like German, English, and Lemon Thyme can make great mounds in just a couple of years. They need to be pruned lightly and regularly. Cutting them back into the woody stems will almost inevitably result in dieback. Weeding regularly when the plant is young is also important, although once well-established and dense; a healthy mat of thyme is virtually self-maintaining. Fertilize regularly with an organic slow-release fertilizer such as Arbor Gate Blend, whether planted in the ground or in pots.
Lower growing varieties can make very successful groundcovers-just look for the ones that lie flat in the four-inch pot. Caraway Thyme is a great example that serves well along pathways and between stepping stones.
Thyme is one of the three major herbs in a French bouquet garni (the other two usually bay leaf and parsley, although this varies). It can be used to enhance the seasoning of almost anything we cook, from appetizers to desserts.