The Big and the Small of It
Slower growing thymes for in between
stepping stones and flagstones include Annie Hall, Elfin Thyme,
Leprechaun Thyme, Silver Needle Thyme,
Pink Chintz Thyme, Mint Thyme,
Woolly Thyme, White Moss
Highland Cream Thyme.
and Leprechaun Thyme
are very small and very flat (about 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch tall). They are
the slowest growing of this group and are the logical choices for those two inch spots.
They bloom very little which help them to remain closer to the ground.
Pink Chintz Thyme , Mint Thyme and
Annie Hall Thyme are slightly taller(1 to 2
inches with the flowers) but have the distinction of putting on a spectacular
flowering show. Pink Chintz blooms very early in spring, followed by Mint Thyme,
with Annie Hall blooming well into the summer.
Woolly Thyme and White Moss
called Creeping White Thyme) are also slower growing, very flat and do well between stones
where space is cramped. Woolly Thyme is the most silver leaved of all the
Thymes and never blooms,
while White Moss Thyme is a lovely chartreuse with little white flowers in late
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. In hot summer areas,
it prefers afternoon shade.
Thyme has the most unique leaf structure and grows flat enough to make a
good flagstone filler.
Faster growing, wider spreading thymes more suitable for large spaces include Pink Lemonade Thyme,
Pink, Caraway Thyme,
Lemon Frost Thyme,
Reiter's Thyme, Hall's
Woolly Thyme and Coconut
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.