The Big and the Small of It
Slower growing thymes for in between
stepping stones and flagstones include Annie Hall, Elfin Thyme,
Silver Needle Thyme,
Pink Chintz Thyme, Mint Thyme,
Woolly Thyme, White Moss
Highland Cream Thyme.
is the smallest and has a greenish
gray leaf. It is the logical choice for those two inch spots. It also blooms
very little which helps it to stay flat.
Pink Chintz Thyme and
Mint Thyme are close on the heels of Elfin with similar color
and woolly texture but spreading out further.
Woolly Thyme and White Moss
called Creeping White Thyme) are also slower growing and do well between stones
where space is cramped. Woolly Thyme is the most silver leaved of all the
while White Moss is a lovely chartreuse.
Highland Cream Thyme
is our variegated stepping stone filler. Leaves of soft cream and green make
this tiny thyme a must have for brightening up dark stones.
Thyme has the most unique leaf structure and grows flat enough to make a
good flagstone filler.
Faster growing, wider spreading thymes include Pink Lemonade Thyme,
Pink, Caraway Thyme,
Lemon Frost Thyme,
Reiter's Thyme, Hall's
Woolly Thyme and Coconut
Thyme. However, these will mound if there is a plant or wall nearby to
Caraway Thyme has the added interest of red
stems. In fact, Caraway
Thyme is the only culinary Ground Cover Thyme in the bunch. Its Latin name,
herba-barona, alludes to its medieval use to freshen other wise questionable
barons of beef. This is the fastest growing ground cover thyme and can
mound up to four inches on top of itself. It is lovely though cascading
down a window box or hillside.
Thyme, which smells great and makes a great
container plant, is taller
reaching between 3 and six inches.
Thyme is more of a mounding thyme and
can reach 4 inches. It is variegated green and gold in the spring and fall and
green in summer. It has a refreshing lemon scent, but is not culinary.
Flowers Are Fun But...
Most Ground Cover Thymes, but not all, bloom
for about three to four weeks between mid spring to mid summer. Pink
Lemonade wins the "blooms the longest" award. It waves its lovely
pink blooms throughout the growing season. On the other end of the bloom
spectrum is Woolly Thyme
which does not bloom at all. ( Don't confuse Woolly Thyme with Hall's
Woolly Thyme which blooms profusely).
Obviously if most ground cover thymes
bloom for only a short period of time it is may be more important to
consider the different colors of the leaves. These run from very dark green,
like Goldstream and Lemon Frost, to chartreuse, like White Moss Thyme.