I know the title reads like a cheesy April fool’s post, but seriously, if you’re a botanist, can you please explain this to me? I’ve noticed for years that english thyme, when the snow recedes, is in about as good a shape as it was in November or December when it was covered. This, in and of itself is remarkable for a plant, but the part I don’t get is that this wonderful condition is temporary – these same lovely thyme leaves will desiccate and ‘die back’ every year. Which leaves a bizarre opportunity in our spring local food void: english thyme being ‘in season’ for a brief couple weeks post-snow.
This year, that time is now in my south-facing garden bed against the house. Most years it’s mid-late March. So we go thyme-less for 4 of the winter months, get it again for a couple weeks, then it’s toast again for nearly 2 months until early June’s new growth. I just don’t get it.
Why english thyme? Not even indigenous wild thyme that I grow fares the same. Why is this state temporary? Perhaps it gets along with fall’s pork and just doesn’t want to miss out. I do want to know. In the meantime, I’m going to be celebrating fresh thyme from the garden as the first seasonal ingredient of the year.