Every garden begins with a dream. For us, the dream for what we now call the Garden of Hope began several years ago. We knew that we wanted to create a garden that would inspire home gardeners to try something new. This garden space was once our Pollinator Garden, but in 2015 we moved that to the meadow (a much better locale for large perennials – and closer to the honeybees!). In 2016, we took the year to evaluate what plants remained and to dream of what the garden could be.
In 2017, you may recall this blog (“Shower and Flowers”) where I explained the changes we made to the garden to make it even more interesting. We learned a lot last summer – particularly about which ground cover plants work best. We have removed the compact oregano and penny royal from last year in favor of a variety of different thyme with a blue stone pathway and seating. Thyme stood far above the rest for beauty, height, spread and ease of maintenance.
There are many low-growing varieties that make a perfect lawn alternative. Several of the varieties we chose are seen below.
There are three other varieties not pictured (‘Red Creeping’, English, and ‘Highland Cream’). English thyme may turn out to be too tall, but we have cut it back for now and will see how well it plays with the other varieties. Our goal is to create a low-maintenance lawn alternative area in this garden. Thyme truly is a perfect choice. Once it is established it spreads well, does not need mowing and is drought tolerant. This means no irrigation or hours spent on the mower. There is no need for costly and environmentally damaging fertilizers or pesticides. Thyme thrives in poor soil, is pollinator friendly (I’ve already spotted honey bees feasting on the flowers) and can handle low-moderate foot traffic. And it’s beautiful to look at too! With all of the ground cover varieties of thyme easily available at your local garden center, you can have whatever color lawn you desire! I see a thyme lawn as a win on so many levels.
With our dream of creating an inspirational home garden still in our minds, we will keep on eye on this new “lawn” and let you know how successful we think it is. I have high hopes. The other day, Gail spotted two visitors sitting in the garden enjoying the view before them.
June is such a gorgeous time in every garden here at Blithewold (case in point, see the two bellflowers featured below).
It is difficult to pinpoint which area is my favorite. The Rose Garden is super colorful with each rose trying to out-compete its neighbor for beauty. The North Garden perennials are performing beyond our hopes (we may have to even rein a few of them in before next year). The Rock Garden maintains its spot as one of the sweetest areas on the property (it is worth the walk down to the water to see this garden). But I am feeling so happy about the Garden of Hope. I even jokingly said we should re-name it Quiet Thyme garden. It is a peaceful place, set apart from the more effusive gardens that get so much more attention. The Garden of Hope invites you to wander through it, sit for a while and find a quiet moment. This is something we all need as our lives get busier and there are so many things clamoring for our attention. When you take a moment to sit in a garden, you reap the benefit for long afterwards.
Come and enjoy the gardens. Sit awhile. Soak in the beauty around you.
See you soon.