At first glance, this may look like rosemary, but this is actually a variety of French thyme, grown in zone four. This particular plant has been producing fragrant thyme for me, for eight years and grows in a bush-like fashion.
Thyme is such a big part of what summer smells like for me. Ornamental versions thrive and spread among the paving stones on my garden path, and the fragrant aroma is present with every step. Culinary versions, like French and lemon thyme, also dot my herb garden and grace my annual dried herb blend.
From classic Italian seasoning to herbs de Provence to a bouquet garni, thyme contributes a subtle, savory note that complements so many of my slow-simmered soups, stews, and roasted dishes.
It's also another perennial herb that doesn't need much extra care in order to enjoy year after year.