Heretus Thyme is one of our most
unusual ground cover thymes with its long, narrow, gray-green leaves that
give it an almost lacy appearance. But, don't let its appearance fool you.
This is one tough plant and is worthy of any garden. The Heretus Thyme on the left
peeking out from under a Tricolor Sage
measures about six inches in diameter and was planted only three months
before this picture was taken. At maturity it can easily reach 10 to 12 inches in diameter.
Even more impressive than the way Heretus
Thyme grows and covers the ground is the incredible display of lilac flowers
it produces in early spring. Below a Heretus Thyme bud gets ready to
burst forth with its gorgeous color.
newly planted Heretus Thyme
creeps and blooms along a slate stone under a
Dwarf Garden Sage. The bright bluish-purple of the garden sage and the lilac of the Heretus Thyme seem an
unlikely combination, but the effect is stunning. The hard working
Heretus Thyme blooms for weeks after the sage is finished. The blooms
can reach two to three inches in height. After bloom, the flowers fall off
leaving slender stems which can be sheared off or left to fall off. Once the
flowers are gone, the thyme becomes low and flat to the ground again. This
is when it begins to creep once more.
The first photo below shows the same plot of Heretus Thyme one year later. It
is the thyme in the background. The blooming thyme in the foreground is one
year old Caraway Thyme, a much
faster grower thyme. The flatter, non-blooming green thyme in between the
two is Elfin Thyme.
second photo below was taken about four years later. The Dwarf Garden Sage
and flagstone were removed to let the thyme cover more ground. The Caraway
Thyme is still there but can't be seen from this angle. However, the Eflin
Thyme was completely taken over by Pink
Lemonade Thyme which is the rest of the thyme in the picture. It
will not bloom until late summer. Heretus Thyme seems to hold
its own but Pink Lemonade Thyme is a very aggressive ground cover which, may
in time, take over the rest of the Heretus. Because
Heretus Thyme is a little slower growing than some of the other
ground cover thymes, it can be used either to cover small patches of open
ground or to fill in between stepping stones.