Thyme in the wild

Thyme is a perennial shrub that is grown in several places in the world.

The picture above was taken in the hills overlooking Tourettes-sur-Loup, in the Maritimes-Alpes department in southeastern France. The low grey mounds are thyme plants. From that particular spot, you can look over the Mediterranean. The coast is just 14 km away. It’s a lovely view for the thyme.

The cuisine of the region is Provençal, particularly Niçoise.

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The best herbs for containers

When it comes to herbs for growing indoors, we are rich in choice. Almost every plant nursery or greenhouse has a selection of starter plants intended for the garden but just as suitable for indoors. The catalogues and websites of seed companies will give you even more ideas.

Alas, indoor growing space is limited. And if indoor herb gardening is new to you, you would want to start with just a few plants.

Here are some criteria you can use to narrow down your decision of what to grow:

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Lemon balm

Lemon balm

Lemon BalmLemon balm (Melissa officianalis) is an old world plant that has become naturalized around the world due to its medicinal reputation.

I don’t know of any culinary use except as a tisane. So when I saw this plant at the local nursery in the spring, I thought why not see how it will thrive in the house this winter?  Besides, I liked its looks.

For advice on growing lemon balm, I opened the “Herbs” volume of my Time Life Encyclopedia of Gardening (1977). I also poked around on the Internet. This is what I found:

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