We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
It's been many years since we have bought either fresh or dried Thyme at the store. It's the easiest herb to grow in full sun and dry, lousy soil, and it comes back after hard freezes and cold winters. An advantage is that the leaves stay on the plant all winter, so you can just go out and scratch the snow off and harvest the sprigs you need. (I just throw the sprigs in with the leaves on, so my cooking often ends up with denuded Thyme sprigs in it.) Cooking with Thyme.
Another advantage is simply the smell it creates in a garden on a hot summer day. 4 or 5 small plants in the Spring will spread all over, only needing a little watering the first year to get started.
Thyme is the ultimate "savoury" flavor, but it's mild enough to make it difficult to over-use. I think it's basic to most stews and soups, Italian or otherwise. My chef friend uses it in muffins and biscuits, and on vegetables. She uses chopped Thyme blossoms on fruit cocktail. It has to be part of any bouquet garni.
Thyme comes in many varieties, some man-made and some wild. Most is Thymus vulgaris - common Thyme, with variants thereof. I assume it has Mediterranean origins. In the Massachusetts Berkshires, we have acres of Creeping Thyme as weeds in the less-fertile meadows, and my Mom always planted it between flagstones. Smells good in the summer when stepping on it, but watch out for the bees.
As a lady with refined sensibilities, Mom was always attentive to the small, charming details of life. There were always small vases of wildflowers around.
I made the mistake of planting some lemon thyme along with some regular thyme on my sunny patch alongside the kitchen. The lemon stuff spreads like wildfire, and tastes nasty as it ages, it's OK when really small and fresh. Finally managed to pull it all out last season, and let the regular thyme spread out some more. A little bit of lavender, a few chives, and a few lovely tender kale plants, and that five by three foot area is nicely productive.