Ground cover to go with wooly thyme

Discussion in 'Garden Design and Plant Suggestions' started by barrolini, Apr 30, 2007.

  1. barrolini

    barrolini Active Member

    Messages:
    31
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    West Vancouver
    My back yard is rises steeply from my house and consists of extensive areas of wooly thyme as the ground cover, with rock outcroppings, Japanese maples and ferns.

    For the most part, the thyme has provided a solid and colorful ground cover. However, in areas where there is a little less sun because of the maples and outcroppings (although there is lots of good soil) the thyme is quite sparse and patchy, which detracts in spots from from the overall effect and allows weeds to intrude.

    I can add more ferns, but I am wondering if anyone can also suggest a ground cover that could visually co-exist with the thyme, and would do well in those areas where there is less sun.

    Barrie
     
  2. GildedLily

    GildedLily Member

    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Abbotsford Canada
    I might try some saxifrages that are a bit more tolerant of shade, for a really tight groundcover, sun-pt.shade ...corsican mint(Mentha requienii), Muehlenbeckia axillaris(airy, round leaves) Laurentia fluvilatilis,(blue star creeper),Ajuca (bugleweed) be sure to get a compact variety, Vinca (Invasive but good evergreen flowering filler) maybe some fragraria vesca (woodland straberry) as a weeding bonus? It likes well drained shade and the berries are tiny but delicious. Personally, I like berries in my flowers-it gives me incentive to weed!
     
  3. barrolini

    barrolini Active Member

    Messages:
    31
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    West Vancouver
    Wow! Thank you very much for the range of suggestions. Some I know...but had forgotten about. Others I will familiarize myself with. In any event, I'm inspired now to get on with it!
     
  4. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

    Messages:
    20,765
    Likes Received:
    581
    Location:
    WA USA (Z8)
    Maybe black Mondo grass.
     
  5. barrolini

    barrolini Active Member

    Messages:
    31
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    West Vancouver
    Another good one. Thanks, Ron.
     
  6. GildedLily

    GildedLily Member

    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Abbotsford Canada
    Black mondo is lovely stuff but bleeding expensive in any kind of quantity. Buy a big pot with multiple crowns, split it up and see how it likes the spot before buying a whole bunch. Buying a lot of 4-inch pots--yeesh!
     
  7. KarinL

    KarinL Well-Known Member 10 Years

    Messages:
    1,058
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Vancouver
    Spelling: Ajuga

    I agree that a saxifrage would be good, maybe S x umbrosa, London Pride or regular. There are other rosette-forming ones that are also nice.

    Also consider Chrysoplenium davidianum
    http://www.bethchatto.co.uk/plant portraits c/chrysoplenium davidianum.html

    I also found something called Coptis out at Free Spirit Nursery in Langley - sort of ferny looking.

    There are also small ground cover hostas - Pacific Blue Edger for example.

    I would be wary of adding another ground cover that has the same growth habit as the thyme, lest you find yourself caught in the war of the ground covers. The eventual appearance of much of your yard could end up being a mish-mash of two intermingled plants, not discrete patches of each. This is why I would grow something that is (a) readily distinguished from the thyme for easy "weeding" out of each other (so not the blue star creeper types) and (b) something that will not overwhelm the thyme in its exuberance (so not vinca). You want something that will grow where the thyme won't, and not go to where it is doing well.

    The mondo grass (there are also green varieties) might be perfect. And actually on that basis, the Chrysoplenium might be too vigorous.
     
  8. barrolini

    barrolini Active Member

    Messages:
    31
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    West Vancouver
    Thanks, everyone, for the excellent suggestions. I like the idea of not going with something "too close" to the thyme in appearance, and I must admit I was leaning that way at the outset.

    I will add one of the suggested plants, together with some feature rocks which are certainly "indigenous" to the immediate area.

    Barrolini
     
  9. Laughing Dog

    Laughing Dog Active Member

    Messages:
    59
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Qualicum Beach, Vancouver Island
    Barrie - any chance you can provide a picture of the wooly thyme? My wife and I have been exploring ground cover options for a couple small garden areas on our property and like wooly thyme - which we have used around some stepping stones, but never in any great quantity. Would love to see a large patch of it if you are able to include a photo...
     

Share This Page