Southern Gardening: Attempt rosemary and thyme in dwelling gardens, containers


When I look at all of the plants that grow in landscapes, I remember that each plant has a role in the history of this garden. And most gardening stories have plants with pals that you can always find next to each other.

One garden story I recently enjoyed was the British TV show “Rosemary & Thyme”. Rosemary Boxer (university lecturer) and Laura Thyme (former police officer) were a dynamic duo in the garden. They solved puzzles – mostly murders – and worked as gardeners in beautiful landscapes across Europe.

And like the TV characters, the plants rosemary and thyme make a great duo in my home herb garden.

Rosemary has needle-like leaves that are typically dark green with silver undersides. The leaves are very fragrant. In a freshly prepared dinner, this sweet aroma warms the entire kitchen. Try adding fresh rosemary to hearty chicken and lamb recipes.

Rosemary can grow fussy in the garden, especially if too much attention is given, e.g. B. when watering and fertilizing. I’ve found rosemary to be one of those garden plants that thrives on neglect. That said, I try not even to look at it as I walk by, but I can’t help but touch the plants and release their sweet scent.

Typically, rosemary has a more upright, spreading habit. I love the Prostrate selection, which is perfect for growing up in hanging baskets. Rosemary was named a 2016 Mississippi Medallion Winner.

Thyme is a great herb that smells like summer to me.

Thyme has a low and spreading habit. The small, fragrant leaves arise on thin, woody stems. There is a wide variety of aromas and flavors such as lemon or colored thyme, but my favorite is the common green variety, English thyme.

It’s amazing how pollinators are drawn to the pink flowers when thyme starts to bloom. Be sure to encourage the plants to grow more by pruning the plants back a third after flowering.

Thyme gives many dishes a hearty flavor. For example, I love fresh thyme with my morning eggs. Use thyme to add flavor to pork, beef, and fish dishes. It’s also delicious to add roasted root vegetables like beets, rutabagas, and carrots.

Both rosemary and thyme thrive in similar growing conditions, starting with full sun.
They can, in my opinion, be grown in raised beds with the best success; even better in containers. This will ensure the proper drainage these plants need. Growing under arid conditions – the drier the better – concentrates the aromatic essential oils.

Both rosemary and thyme can be grown from seeds, but that takes real patience. For these herbs, I always recommend purchasing transplants from your favorite independent garden center or kindergarten.
Then you can create your own rosemary and thyme combinations.

Gary Bachman is Professor of Horticultural Extension and Research at Mississippi State University’s Coastal Research and Extension Center in Biloxi, hosting television and radio programs for Southern Gardening. Contact him at [email protected]