Growing Tips
Thyme Lawn

Thyme Lawn

A great way to add some interest to your garden, bringing colour and encouraging pollinators is a Thyme lawn.   They are an appealing alternative to grass for lawns and are becoming increasingly popular, especially to give a lower maintenance garden or in areas of low use.  A Thyme lawn is not only drought resistant but it generally requires much less water than a traditional lawn and little or no mowing.  Most varieties of Thyme will tolerate low foot traffic, where you are expecting to have a higher foot fall it’s advised to add some paving slabs or gravel.  Another bonus is that it will produce an abundance of pretty flowers in the spring/summer as well as a beautiful aroma when stepped upon.  You can either plant one variety or why not try a selection to grow a patchwork lawn.

Choose the location of your lawn in an area which has lots of sunlight.  When preparing the area for planting it’s important to clear the area of weeds.  Ensure the soil has plenty of drainage as the plants do not like to be waterlogged. Plant the Thyme about 6-8 inches apart (6″ apart equates to 36 plants per square metre)

Most of the creeping varieties of thyme are suitable for planting, see some of our favourites here:

Or have a look at our creeping collection by clicking here

Another popular lawn is the chamomile lawn, to find out more can see our growing tip page here

Cathy - 1st April 2020

I have a small lawn either side of a stone path, and a couple of flagstones with some pots, that together break the grass area roughly into four sections. One is quite shaded and currently very bare and folorn while the others get a mix of sun and shade and fare a bit better. I’d love to try a herb lawn though I suspect it won’t have enough sun… are there any suggestions of what herbs or alternatives might cope? We are on North London clay so regularly seesaw from waterlogged – this winter – to dry, though we do water in the dryer/summer weather.

Hetty - 10th April 2020

Hi Cathy
My apologies for taking so long to reply.
You could consider for the sunnier area either Chamomile or a Thyme Lawn. You may need to ensure the soil has freer drainage by adding some grit. Chamomile Lawn grows in a mat like form of apple scented perennial foliage which is finely divided and remains evergreen. It does best in cultivated free draining soil in sun or open shade.
There are a number of different Creeping Thyme varieties, the Thyme Creeping Red, Creeping Lemon and Thyme Doone Valley whilst they grow and flower best in the sun should grow ok in the shade. They also do best in better draining soil.
Neither Thyme or Chamomile lawns can take high footfall but they smell lovley.
I hope this is information is helpful. Stay safe.
Kind Regards, Liz

Madeleine - 22nd June 2020

What time of year should a thyme-lawn be planted?

Hetty (EN) - 25th June 2020

Hi Madeleine,
A thyme lawn can be planted in Spring (after the last frost), Summer and Autumn. If you plant in summer as the plants need to establish you should be prepared to water regularly, especially if there is a hot spell. I wouldn’t plant too late into Autumn as the plants won’t have as long to establish before the colder weather hits. I hope this is helpful.
Kind Regards, Liz

Ros - 15th August 2020

Can you combine chamomile and thyme to replace a lawn in scotland? I see you need to buy the chamomile plants for the non flowering dwarf type best for lawns. When is the best time of year to plant the chamomile plants? Can the thyme be grown from seed and when is the best time of year to plant the seeds? Would you intersperse these two, e.g., leaving spaces for the chamomile plants in spring if you were planting thyme seed in early autumn? Which is the best thyme seed to grow as low growing lawn?

Hetty (CL) - 17th August 2020

Hi Ros, thanks for your interest. There is no reason why you can’t combine the two plants to create a lawn, we would recommend that they are planted at the same time, the best time to plant would be in the Spring after the chance of frost has passed. We will be offering both of these as a pre-order of plugs which provide a more cost effective way of creating a lawn but will take longer to achieve the final result. The Thyme varieties which would be suitable can be seen in our Thyme Creeping collection. We would also recommend thorough weed removal before planting and a lighter soil. Please also be aware that these lawns are both suited to light footfall and no pet fouling.

Catherine - 24th August 2020

Our garden is on a long slope, which was landscaped into grassed terraces. The flat bits are fine, but the slopes are really difficult to mow, so we want to replace the grass on the slopes with creeping thyme. Would we be best sticking to one variety or mixing. Are all varieties ok with frosts and cold as we are in Scotland. We need to calculate the total area, but could you supply us with hundreds of plants????

Hetty (CL) - 24th August 2020

Hi Cathie, we have just sent you an e-mail in reply to your comment. Kind regards

Miren - 30th August 2020

Hi, I’m thinking of creating a living roof on my little shed and i love the idea of using thyme on it, do you think that it would work? Thanks

Hetty (EN) - 3rd September 2020

Hi Miren, what a lovey idea. Yes Thyme works well on a living roof. People often plant the Thyme Common and the hardier Creeping varieties such as Creeping Lemon, Doone Valley, Lemon Curd, Pink Ripple and Gold. I hope this is helpful. Kind Regards, Liz

andy hacking - 2nd February 2021

Hi Hetty, we have just bought a new { to us } house with a horrible PLASTIC front lawn. I was going to add new top soil and seed it with grass but your idea of a mixed Thyme lawn sounds lovely. Which types do you recommened for colour and scent over an area of approx 4m x 4m

Hetty (CL) - 3rd February 2021

Hi Andy, thanks for making contact. A Thyme lawn can look beautiful but please bear in mind that it’s only suitable for low footfall areas. A combination of any of the varieties listed above would be suitable as all have a lovely scent and differing colours. If you need any further advice then please drop us an e-mail. Kind Regards, Claire

Jane - 24th February 2021

What do you mean by low footfall? I have a veggie bed that I’m thinking of returning to lawn. It’s in the best part of the garden for lying on the sun on nice days. Other than that it’s not a thorough fare. Would chamomile n thyme work for this? Are they scratchy/suitable occasionally to be laid upon?

Hetty (CL) - 1st March 2021

Hi Jane, thanks for your message. Low footfall means an area where it is not walked on on a regular basis as this would be more than the plants would take. I would think that the thyme wouldn’t be suitable for laying on but the chamomile would (again if not on a regular basis), please e-mail us if you need any further details, Kind regards Claire

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