Garden Photo of the Day

READER PHOTO! A lawn of thyme

Click here to enlarge ths photo.
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Roberta Smith

Today’s photos are from Roberta Smith in Cologne, Minnesota. She says, “I have a lot of shrub roses in my front yard. In June when they are all blooming it is quite a sight to see with all the creeping thyme lawn in bloom as well.  There are two varieties of thyme.  One is ‘Annie Hall’ (Thymus serpyllum ‘Annie Hall’, USDA Hardiness Zones 4-9) and I’m not sure of the other as it was mislabeled at the nursery.  This thyme lawn originally was seven small plants in 1999 and it has spread and filled in the entire area.  It survives the winter just fine here in my west-facing Zone 4 garden with no protection.  It likes it hot and dry so another bonus is that I never water it. It’s fabulous in bloom in June and is a nice green carpet of lawn that doesn’t need mowing the rest of the summer, as it is only about two inches tall.” Thanks, Roberta, for sharing your thyme lawn with us!

Click here to enlarge ths photo.
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Roberta Smith


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  1. ncgardener 12/06/2010

    Wow that is so nice and I especially love the fairies. My front lawn is west facing so I may try it on the edge of my rose border.I will definitely add "Annie Hall" to my list of spring plants.

  2. birdwhisperer 12/06/2010

    wow that is so lovely and the angels where can I buy them in canada?????

  3. wwross 12/06/2010

    Beatiful. But how does the thyme look the rest of the year, after the couple of weeks of blooming? In Northern Virginia, the thyme is very nice, but then looks ratty and needs to be filled in.

  4. user-7006895 12/06/2010

    What kind of soil is this planted in? I have a rocky bank in back of my house and this would be the perfect solution to my problem. It's just lovely and I love the fairies as well.

  5. RobertaSmith 12/06/2010

    The thyme is planted in poor soil...clay.

    wwross in N VA is wondering if it looks ratty when not in always looks really nice, even when not in bloom. Maybe you are thinking of a taller thyme? To tidy it up after blooming you can gently sweep the thyme with a broom. I used to get on my hands and knees and quickly go over it all with my gloved hand....I've discovered the broom works just as well and is much easier on my back. My garden has had large garden tours in July, Aug, & Sept and everyone always loves it!

  6. raleighgardener 12/06/2010

    Do the deer eat this thyme?

  7. Pat_Tea 12/06/2010

    If imitation is the best form of flattery I am going to flatter you. This is a perfect solution to my hill side that leads to my fairy gardens in the woods. Does anyone have any ideas how to get it to fill in faster than 11 years???

  8. rwotzak 12/06/2010

    Beautiful! I swear I'm going to try a patch of thyme lawn in my front yard next year! It's already dry and sandy out there -- I just hope I have enough sun.

  9. RobertaSmith 12/06/2010

    Pat_Tea will be happy to know that it did not take 11 years to fill in. It only took a couple of years and I planted it in 1999. Sorry for any confusion on that! If you want it fuller right away just plant more, you'll probably be able to find someone to share it with later if you need to. :)

  10. RobertaSmith 12/06/2010

    RaleighGardener is wondering about the thyme lawn and deer....I've not had a problem with deer.

  11. soilgoil 12/06/2010

    I moved into a home where wooly thyme had been planted between stepping stones along a garden path. It looks lovely, especially when in bloom, but grasses and weeds readily seed in it and are almost impossible to remove. I've tried carefully dabbing vinegar on each weed to avoid destroying the thyme, but it's a long, long path and painstaking work. Anyone have a better idea?

  12. RobertaSmith 12/06/2010

    soilgoil, A couple of times a summer I lift any weeds out with a pointed little pruner that I love to use. They are really easy to see before they get too big because the thyme is so low. And surprisingly with all the plants I have reseeding in my country cottage garden it hasn't been too much of an issue. The corn gluten may take awhile to work. The pointy little pruner tool that I use makes it much easier to do quickly.

  13. PlantingGal 12/06/2010

    'Annie Hall' (Thymus serpyllum 'Annie Hall', USDA Hardiness Zones 4-9) - which is it? The bright pink or pale violet? It would like great in that "no man's land between 2 driveways".
    Any idea if it can handle the humidity of the Gulf's zone 9

  14. RobertaSmith 12/06/2010

    PlantingGal, I'm not sure how it would do in your zone. I would recommend that you contact your local extension office or a reputable herb grower in your area. I believe the Annie Hall is the darker thyme. Sounds like you've got a great place for it if it will get lots of sun.

  15. sheilaschultz 12/07/2010

    What a great idea... perfect for the high desert area of Denver where we are always looking for alternatives to water thirsty grass. (It is so much more lovely than rocks!)

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