May 2006
Home Grown Tomatoes



 May flowers, May pole, May Day, may we, Cinco de Mayo, Mother may I? Mother’s Day is in May!

It’s May and I hope this spring has rewarded you with beautiful flowers, vegetables and herbs.

Use herbs to add color and functionality to those shrub beds. This month we’ll take a look at several of my favorite herbs, their purpose in the world of herbs and their uses in the landscape. The herbs we’ll discuss are all thymes.

Starting with groundcovers, there are several varieties of thyme (Thymus sp.) that are used in rock gardens and outcroppings, between stepping-stones and as cascading plants from retaining walls. Some of the groundcover thymes have culinary value. Some of them you just grow for their tiny blooms or their scents they produce when you step on them.

Creeping thyme comes in several colors of blooms from white, pink and purple to true blue. Another creeper is Minus thyme and Elfin thyme. They have a lemony scent when crushed.

An unusual thyme to use is Wooly thyme. It is a creeping type with wooly-looking hairs all over it.

Upright thymes include: French thyme, English thyme, Lemon thyme, Silver edge thyme and golden edge thyme, to name a few. These will grow from 4 inches to 10 inches tall and can cascade when they reach a certain height.

One other cultivar to look for is Cat thyme. If you have cats, they’ll love you more for growing this one. Cut a few stems of Cat thyme and give to your kitty. They’ll play with it for hours!

If your thyme is a Thymus vulgarus (ssp.), it is a culinary thyme.

Be sure to shop your local Co-op and ask them to stock your favorite thyme and consider giving your Momma a basket or pot of thyme.

Thyme for Momma
For all the time you took for me, from day one to today.
All those times you comforted me in your own special way.
For the times you explained the things I didn’t understand.
And the times I needed uplifting in spirits, you offered your gentle hand.
Even as an adult, you’re time is generously offered too.
That is why, this month, I give this pot of thyme to you.
Happy Mother’s Day and happy gardening.
By the way…Home Grown Tomatoes is going on the road in April and will be coming to a Quality Co-op or garden center near you. Check the website for locations and come join the fun!

Kenn Alan presents the radio show "Home Grown Tomatoes" every Saturday morning from 6 till 8 on 101.1 FM, The Source, and offers gardening tips at, where Home Grown Tomatoes can now be heard live on the Internet by following instructions on the home page!