This garden strikes a novel pose by growing thyme in planting pockets of a retaining wall

Sharon Cohoon  – October 9, 2004

Like most herbs, thyme is almost ridiculously easy to grow, says Jeanne Dunn, who, with husband Chris, co-owns Herban Garden, an herb nursery in Fallbrook. Thyme’s one demand, however, is good drainage. That’s why, when deciding which herb to showcase in the planting pockets of a retaining wall at the nursery, Jeanne immediately thought of thyme. She planted gold-leafed and silver-leafed thymes, as well as camphor-, lavender-, lemon-, and lime-scented varieties, creating the subtly contrasting tapestry of textures shown here. Just as Jeanne expected, the thymes are all flourishing in their sunny, sharply draining site.

The wall is made from planting blocks. The ones shown here are 8-inch keystone cement stacking units from RCP Block & Brick (about $7 each; or 800/732-7425 for retail locations).

INFO: Herban Garden (9–4 Tue–Sat; 136 Ranger Rd., Fallbrook, CA; 800/407-5268) grows more than 250 types of herbs, including 18 kinds of thyme.