When we built our pond almost fifteen years ago, I constructed two small flagstone patios – one tiny space just off the deck outside the master bedroom and a larger patio where a glider bench beckons folks to sit a spell as they move from the family room deck to the backyard.
I love the unpretentious simplicity of the patios. The irregular shapes of the flagstones fit together like puzzle pieces and hover over the water’s edge, a border of soil framing each one. The patios are charming except that both of them have the same problem – weeds!
Weeds of all kinds fill in the gaps between the flagstones quicker than I can pull them. I do not like to use chemical weed controls, so hand pulling them becomes a constant chore.
I found an ideal solution – one that will save the time spent weeding without spraying weed killers and retaining the natural look I love. I am planting creeping thyme in the gaps.
Growing creeping thyme in the spaces between flagstones offers many benefits.
- It softens the hard edges of the flagstones.
- Thyme anchors the soil, reducing wash-out during heavy rains.
- It is drought tolerant, loves sunshine, and requires very little maintenance.
- We can walk on it. Thyme doesn’t mind foot traffic.
- And thyme devours empty spaces, putting up a No Vacancies sign for weeds.
Doretta Klaber creeping thyme (Thymus serphyllum ‘Doretta Klaber’) is a perfect variety for my flagstone patios. It is low-growing, just two inches tall, and will quickly weave its way through the cracks.
The small, fuzzy green leaves release a minty fragrance when stepped on. Bees love the tiny, dark lavender-pink flowers blooming in summer too, so we’ll avoid walking barefoot on it while it is flowering.
First, I removed all the weeds from between flagstones. I then cut each plant into four pieces using a sharp knife. The smaller pieces were planted randomly throughout the patio and watered thoroughly.
As the creeping thyme grows, I may need to trim it to keep it from growing across flagstones, but giving thyme a haircut will be much more enjoyable than weeding the cracks.
With the patios planted, this garden challenge was checked off the list. Have you solved a problem in your landscape? Tell me about it, so I can share your experience. Garden with me!