Creeping Thyme + Hyacinth

(Question)

Hi I have 2 questions. I live in Toronto. I planted Hyacinth bulbs last Sept. When these bulbs are going to sprout? I do not see any sign yet and we are in march 7.

Also do you have any idea where I can buy creeping thyme? and when it would be available? Thank you

 

(Answer)

Your hyacinths should start to sprout over the next few weeks and bloom towards the end of April – around the same time as the daffodils and early tulips. Bloom time is based on many factors and as these vary from year to year so does the arrival of the spring bulbs. In my own garden, the snowdrops are in bloom but there is no sign of other bulbs as yet.

Creeping thyme (botanical name Thymus serpyllum) makes a wonderful, fragrant groundcover. You should be able to find it in the perennial ground cover section of any major garden centre. Perennials generally come available for sale in the April time frame. Note that there are two groups of creeping thymes: ground hugging and mounding. Within these two groups there are numerous cultivars with varying foliage and flower colour.

I grow a lot of a mounding variety called Mother-of-thyme or sometimes Wild Thyme. It grows in loose, billowing mounds of up to 10 cm. It is very hardy, spreads quickly and is easy to divide to create additional plants. I trim back the wirey stems in the spring to tidy up the plants. An example of the ground hugging type is the cultivar Thymus serpyllum ‘Elfin’ which I also grow. It is very low to the ground – no trimming required, and slower to spread.

Note that the naming of thymes is very confusing. In some nurseries you will find creeping thymes labelled as Thymus praecox. So Thymus serpyllum ‘Elfin’ and Thymus praecox ‘Elfin’ are the same plant.