Garden DIY · Perennials

Planting Thyme in Flagstone Patios

flagstone-patio-planted

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.

flagstones-over-edge-of-pond

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-between-flagstones

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.

thyme-filling-space-between-flagstones

Growing creeping thyme in the spaces between flagstones offers many benefits.

  1. It softens the hard edges of the flagstones.
  1. Thyme anchors the soil, reducing wash-out during heavy rains.
  1. It is drought tolerant, loves sunshine, and requires very little maintenance.
  1. We can walk on it. Thyme doesn’t mind foot traffic.
  1. And thyme devours empty spaces, putting up a No Vacancies sign for weeds.

thyme-in-pots

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.

thyme-with-flowers

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.

planting-thyme-montage

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.

thyme-creeping-across-flagstone

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.

flagstone-patio-planted

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!

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