At Thyme in the Garden shoppers can find a varied array of plants that grow well in containers and terrariums—as well as herbs, perennials, pottery, home and gardening accessories and gifts.

Sisters Laura and Sarah Carter manage the shop in north Asheville, which their parents, Tom and Janet Carter, started in 2006.

The Carter sisters offer customers their expertise in selecting and caring for plants they choose.

“A big part of our draw is customer service,” Laura said. “We’ll get involved with customers and help them match plants to light needs.”

The Carters can create terrariums and miniature gardens for customers, as well as advising them.

“We’re constantly potting for people,” Laura said.

They also hold gardening workshops throughout the year. An upcoming session on Sept. 21 featuring miniature gardens will focus on creating an imaginative landscape known as a fairy garden, which can be designed to grow either indoors or outside.

Workshop participants can either bring their own containers or purchase one at the shop, which has a wide range of small plants that are appropriate for diminutive gardens.

One miniature garden on display in the expansive outdoor area of the shop features a weathered wagon in which small plants are blooming.

Thyme in the Garden has a large collection of pottery for plants from small containers to large ones that can hold small trees. Much of the pottery is handcrafted, including the work of Laura and Sarah’s brother, Drew Carter, who creates small pieces using leaves that he incorporates into his work.

The shop brimming with arrangements of plants also carries many gift items such as handmade scarves, tablecloths and other linens, some of which are made by local artisans.

Gift cards are also on display, including a collection that Laura designs with colorful nature themes reflecting her love of plants and the natural world.

“A lot of people come in for the cards,” Sarah noted.

A lifetime of gardening

“Sarah and I grew up with gardening,” Laura said. “I was rooted in the love of gardening.”

The sisters’ early experiences with their parents who were focused on gardening and the horticulture business inspired them to work in the field.

Laura studied at Warren Wilson College and later trained and worked in Scotland where she developed her skills in the horticultural field.

After graduating from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Sarah worked on a coffee farm in Hawaii and on farms in California and Mexico, as well as a nonprofit focused on the environment.

Deciding to return to Asheville where they grew up, the sisters began managing Thyme in the Garden for their parents a few years ago.

Sarah said she finds it rewarding to have the opportunity to help people connect with nature through gardening.

The sisters are now in the process of acquiring fall plants such as mums and pansies, which will be at their shop in the coming weeks.

In addition to workshops and gardening demonstrations, they also are planning an annual holiday open house on Nov. 2.

For more information on Thyme in the Garden and current hours of operation, visit or call 828-658-3700. The shop is at 190 Weaverville Road.


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