Thyme, About the Different Varieties

Thymes along the garden walkway

You just cannot go wrong choosing this herb for your garden or landscape. Thyme is an easy to grow, evergreen perennial which requires little to no care, thrives in poor soil and hot, dry conditions. It is mannerly in the garden as it fills spaces nicely but pulls up easily where it’s not wanted.

There are so many species within the thyme family that herb lovers from Greenland to Asia are seeking to obtain each one for their personal collections. Some are creeping, “walk-on-me” groundcovers, while others have a tidy, low-mounding habit which makes a nice edging or border in the landscape. In my own garden I have a row of globe shaped ‘Golden Lemon’ thyme lining a stone path and different creeping thymes between the stones like aromatic carpets. They are my favorite herbs in the garden because they have so much to offer – most varieties of thyme have flowers ranging in colors from mauves and pinks to shades of lavender and white. They add elegance to pots when planted with other herbs and flowers with their texture and ability to spill over edges.

Pantry Garden Herbs currently carries 18 different thymes. Each are listed below to help you determine which is best for you. However, that may be difficult, you may find yourself tempted to become a thyme collector too!

‘Archer’s Gold’ – is a low-growing thyme with a lemony scent and a golden color in winter and spring. In hot weather, however, this variety turns a bright green making it unique among the thyme varieties. Ht. 6-8″. Learn more about this variety including sowing information.

‘Bressingham’ Thyme – is a creeping/ trailing type that bears profuse amounts of starry pink flowers. Very ornamental and aromatic. Ht. 3″. Learn more about this variety including sowing information.

‘Caraway’ Thyme – is named for its flavor, perfect for meat dishes and herbed bread. It is a creeping/trailing type with a wiry habit and rose colored flowers. Ht. 4″-8″. Learn more about this variety including sowing information.

‘Doone Valley’ Thyme – leaves are a dark green with flecks of gold turning solid green with summer’s heat and then takes on a reddish hue in winter. It has a lemon scent and is a creeping type growing 2″-4″. Learn more about this variety including sowing information.

‘English’ Thyme – the ‘Common’ variety, it has a great flavor and has been used by Europeans since ancient times. Use in Italian cuisine and meat dishes. It is a mounding type that grows 12″-18″, good for beds borders and rock gardens. Learn more about this variety including sowing information.

‘French’ Thyme – one of the best culinary thymes, great in herb vinegars, breads and butters. A bushy 12″-18″ plant with narrow leaves. Learn more about this variety including sowing information.

‘Golden Lemon’ Thyme – has a tangy lemon flavor with variegated green and gold leaves and grows in a mounding dome 6″-12″. Learn more about this variety including sowing information.

‘Lemon’ Thyme – its scent is regularly described as astonishing, it is especially mouth-watering in salads, with fish, and poultry. A low-mounding type grows 2″-6″. Learn more about this variety including sowing information.

‘Lime’ Thyme – is a dense and mounding with lime-green leaves. Makes a good contrast to darker leaved plants. Very ornamental and aromatic. Grows to 6″. Learn more about this variety including sowing information.

‘Minus’ Thyme – look very close or you may think its moss! Minus thyme has the tiniest leaves ever; it is extremely dense. Grows 1″-2″ tall. Perfect between stones. Learn more about this variety including sowing information.

‘Mother of Thyme’ – a dense, pink blooming groundcover. Great flavor too, try in marinara sauces, soups, and sautéed vegetables. Ht. 2″-3″. Learn more about this variety including sowing information.

‘Orange’ – small-leafed and hardy, this thyme has a definite citrusy orange peel scent and flavor which is excellent with fish, roasted vegetables, stews and soups or in marmalades, chutneys, sweet dishes and tea. Ht. 8″-12″. Learn more about this variety including sowing information.

‘Red Creeping’ Thyme – another great creeping/trailing variety. This one with deep lavender-red blooms. Ht. 3″-6″. Learn more about this variety including sowing information.

‘Silver Lemon’ Thyme – true to its name, adds a lovely contrast to the garden. Grows 8″-12″ tall with a nice mounding habit. Use in poultry, fish, and vegetable dishes. Learn more about this variety including sowing information.

‘Stepping Stone’ – is a vibrant green flat creeping thyme with tiny leaves. It is the perfect addition when filling in the gaps in rock garden walkways. Ht. 1″. Learn more about this variety including sowing information.

‘Wedgewood’ Thyme – one of the most ornamental of all the thymes, it has beautiful dark foliage with streaks of chartreuse and a low consistent growth habit 12″-18″. Learn more about this variety including sowing information.

‘White Creeping’ Thyme – tiny white flowers compliment dark green foliage. It is beautiful in combination planters and landscapes. Ht. 2″. Learn more about this variety including sowing information.

‘Wine and Roses Thyme – a compact, spreading habit that is great for topiaries and container growing. Its pink blooms blanket the dark green foliage during spring and summertime attracting many bees and butterflies. Ht. 2-4″. Learn more about this variety including sowing information.

‘Wooly’ Thyme – is a gray, hairy, mat-forming, walk-on-me groundcover. Ht. 1″. Learn more about this variety including sowing information.