If you don’t have the room, or time, to maintain a full herb garden, it’s worth growing a few herbs on a sunny windowsill inside. Fresh herbs have an entirely different flavour to the dried varieties, so much so that once you’ve used fresh, you will probably never want to use the dried versions again. A herb that I use regularly is thyme. A culinary plant native to Southern Europe, thyme is widely used in European, particularly French cuisine – on poultry, fish, meat, vegetables, stuffings and in sauces.
Growing from seed could take up to a year. If that is too long to wait, buy a small plant from a garden centre and start by planting in a 6″ clay pot. Put plenty of crocks** in the bottom of the pot and use a light potting compost. (Thyme grows naturally on dry, sunny hillsides so you’re aiming to mimic those conditions).
There are several varieties, from plants like broad-leaved thyme that grows just 6″ high, to common thyme, reaching 15 inches. My favourite is probably Lemon Thyme. It has a delicious flavour and the plant, if left to its own devices, will form a mound of bright green foliage about 12″ high.
To care for your plant: Water sparingly, trim lightly and regularly to keep compact (obviously not a problem if you’re using it in cooking)!
**pieces of old broken pots