Bobby bringing the flat of Thyme to Eco-Village on the rack on the folding bike

Bobby bringing the flat of Thyme to Eco-Village on the rack on the folding bike

After today’s March for Water, neighbor Bobby Gadda and I dropped by Sunset Nursery today to pick up some plants for the bulbout. We got some plants for the existing planter – including sage, lavender, rosemary, Santa Barbara daisies, and another kind of daisy with a sort of pale purple center with yellow dots. We biked them all home and planted them right away.

We also got some plants for the planned next planter, which will go in the north end of the bulbout. These included a flat of ground-cover thyme to plant in the interstices of the next planter, which we’re planning to start work on next Saturday March 28th (tentatively starting at 9am – all welcome.) The last saturday of each month, L.A.Eco-Villagers hold a work party. Responsibility for organizing the work party rotates among those of us who volunteer.

Thyme growing in the interstices

Thyme growing in the interstices

Here is a shot of the same type of thyme as it grows in the walls of one of the urbanite raised beds in the garden I tend. The thyme grows slowly, but ultimately resembles a sort of splashing and dripping mortar between bricks. This is about one and a half years after I planted it. It definitely is happiest in the south-facing walls where it gets the most sunlight.

Now that I’ve got you excited to try this at home, I have to publish a couple of disclaimers… The best thyme for ground cover is not the best thyme to use as a spice. The thyme (I am pretty sure it’s called elfin thyme) that grows most tightly and covers most, has even tinier leaves that they typical already-very-small-leaf thyme (which I think is called wooly thyme.)  Wooly thyme grows more like a single-stem plant than a groundcover.  Wooly thyme does spread, slowy, too – though it doesn’t achieve the coverage the elfin thyme does.  The thymes I use most frequently is the lemon and lime thymes… though I use these only rarely anyway (mostly mashed up in salad dressing) because it’s cumbersome to deal with such small leaves.  As much as I like to grow elfin thyme for the way it makes the garden walls look… and I justify its presence in my garden as a spice… I’ve never actually used this elfin thyme as a spice. It’s also never seems to quite achieve perfect coverage… some areas proliferate, some decline. There’s a dead area about midway up the left edge of the photo above.

Anyhow, come help us plant more thyme at this Saturday’s work party!

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