Thyme in the garden, no more

Yesterday was a gardening day in my little corner of the world. I have been procrastinating facing the fact that this winter caused major die back in my thyme in the garden. Not "time" in the garden, but "thyme" in the garden. When a fellow gardener came by the nursery the other day and told me that she had lost her wooly thyme that was between her stepping stones this past winter I commiserated that - yes, I too thought that mine was lost this year. I just didn't really want to face the fact. I have been building on this patio thyme for about 10 years now. There were over 5 varieties, with my favorite being the elfin - Thymus serpyllum 'Elfin', a very low grower with small little purple flowers and the wooly - Thymus praecox subsp. arcticus 'Lanuginosus'  which I loved for it's soft fuzzy grey carpet appearance and the little pink flowers all summer. Both thrive in alkaline soil and full sun so it was always a perfect fit for my side garden.

We have had -20 temps, we have had years of heavy snow, we have had winters of no snow...and still the thyme stayed semi-evergreen all winter. I don't know why this year was so different, other than it was so extremely dry and I wasn't here for the month of January to do any watering. That is the only reason I can think of why I would have had this much loss. It took the better part of the afternoon to dig it out, and it wasn't until I went back to find the picture from last year that I got sad, really really sad, for the way it looked before. The only area that was still as it was in the past was over by the roses and covered with mulch and leaves until very recently. So....guess I will have to find more time for thyme in the garden soon...............on a happier note, there were lots of other blooms to enjoy and the garden is starting to take on its mid-Spring loveliness. I will dwell on that, and start the plans for which kinds of thyme I will be re-planting soon. See you in the garden. 

small little area that was covered with mulch is still fine

how it looked in June 2011

staghorn sumac, Rhus typhina, popped its leaves open yesterday 
the valarian, Valeriana officinalis, that Jaime gave me a start of is just beautiful and full 
 lilacs, ahhhhhhh, another time I wish for blog..a..scent
 Loniceria 'Dropmore Scarlet' honeysuckle, stayed everygreen all winter, blooming already
 tomato very happy and warm in it's little walled apartment