Thyme is an evergreen shrub growing 8-12in (20-30cm) high. The pleasantly aromatic leaves can be harvested at any time of year. Lemon thyme (T. citriodorus) is less powerful but the clean lemon taste is well suited to desserts, drinks and other sweet dishes.
Sow seed in early spring and transplantinto 3in (8cm) pots of rich, -based potting medium. Pot on to a larger pot size as necessary and site the pot in a place where the plant has a little room to spread. Prune back the growing tips to encourage branching and do not allow the plants to come into flower.
Thyme can also be propagated byor division of existing plants in spring. It is a good idea to divide established plants about every three years to maintain good growth. Discard old sections and pot up the healthiest divisions separately.
Thyme has a strong taste and should be used sparingly with other herbs, as it may overpower their contributions to the flavour of a dish. It is traditionally associated with roast meats and stuffings, but also goes very well with fish and shellfish. Add it also to pates and to vegetarian dishes based on pulses and nuts. Lemon thyme is especially suited to fish dishes.