In an effort to reduce water use and time spent caring for lawns, some gardeners are replacing their turf with thyme or chamomile! It is hard to believe that thyme is an ideal grass alternative. I would never even have suspected you could have a lawn of thyme or chamomile if I hadn’t come across them at Babylonstoren here in Stellenbosch.
I was told that Thyme lawns require less water, and is generally tough so“walking on thyme” doesn’t hurt or destroy it. Thyme is drought resistant and will spread easily to fill in most of the space that you want it to. Best thing: it becomes a carpet of attractive, lavender-colored flowers that lasts long into the season. So it looks as good as it feels and smells!
The down-side to putting in a thyme lawn is that it can be expensive. When you’re planting plugs of thyme 6 to 12 inches apart, you can burn up a lot of cash fast. Most sources recommend planting smaller areas.
Chamomile is great for open, sunny lawns. Unfortunately new chamomile lawns tolerate only occasional light pedestrian traffic, and become patchy when walked on excessively. Both these lawns can be trimmed with a mower or shears in the late summer but only to remove dead flower heads and the occasional ragged shoot. There is not usually an actual need to mow in the way you might mow grass if you are using a non-flowering dwarf cultivar,although flowering cultivars will need to have the flowers assiduously trimmed off or dead patches might result.
When you do walk on these herb lawns you get to enjoy the soft texture and the beautiful thyme or chamomile smell that rises from your feet!
I would love a Thyme or a Chamomile lawn someday, wouldn’t you?