Thursday, June 24, 2010

Thyme Crunch--1 year later


Last year at the end of June we were putting the finishing touches on our courtyard.  
The concrete "stones" had just been colored and sealed and 
I embarked on the most time/thyme consuming planting job I'd ever undertaken.


Now, a year later, I can honestly say it was worth it.  As I walked across the courtyard this morning, the scent was heavy in the air and the colors of the wooly thyme, creeping thyme, "little prince" thyme, and elfin thyme had that tapestry look I was hoping for.


And thankfully a year later, there's still little red shoes clicking across the courtyard, 
but now Cholita would like you know that she's moved onto "high heels".


And there's still the same blankie, looking worse for the wear.  We're pretty much down to batting.



Last year, the fountain wasn't in yet and the whole place looked like a construction zone.



This year the fountain is in, although rarely running.  I've decided I almost prefer the birdbath effect.  Besides, did I mention how loud it is?
It's still loud.


But not quite as loud as this little one.



Now if weeds would just cease to exist, I'd almost call it perfect.

31 comments:

Chelsea said...

Wow that is so gorgeous!

Katy said...

Eileen, will you come do my yard? (I'm making puppy dog eyes!)

I like my fountain off, too, but it is growing algae. I'm worried if I put chlorine in it, that the birds won't like it anymore. Do you have any of these problems?

Julie said...

I've been secretly wondering about how that thyme worked out!! WOW...it is gorgeous.

I NEED YOU!! I really do. I have no vision.

And I'm lovin' Cholita's heels! She's movin' on up!! Hilarious!

Erin @ Frundy said...

Wowza's! That is amazing looking! Absolutely gorgeous. Enjoy your courtyard and thanks for sharing.

Michelle @ between cottage and cabin said...

That is incredible. Well worth all of the effort- you have every right to be very proud of yourself. What a great space!

Tammy said...

Beautiful! We really need to come visit and see and smell all of this in person some day.

serendipity berries said...

Gorgeous! Thanks for sharing-- I would never have known about the thyme and how nicely it grows in without your before and afters. Thanks for sharing. :-)

John and Sue Burch said...

Hi from Georgia. We have wanted to place concrete 'stones' like this in an area in our yard that will just not grow grass. We watch dirt grow - not watching grass grow. Where did you get the 'stones' and how did you get them stained and sealed? Did you have to prepare the foundation in any special way. It looks really great! Oh one more question - why the thyme and not little mondo grass or the like? Susan

Eileen said...

John and Sue,

I can't seem to get to your e-mail, so I'll have to answer here! We actually poured the concrete and then cut in the "stones". We used watered down paint to stain them and then used a concrete sealer. The color has definitely faded. We used thyme because I thought it would look and smell nice. It does, but weeds still manage to come up. I think mondo grass would be fine, but it's not as "stepable" as something low-growing like thyme.

You can see us cutting in the concrete here:

http://scravings.blogspot.com/2009/06/hard-as-rock-and-warm-fuzzies.html

Hope that helps!

Maddie said...

We are about to start on our backyard. I wondered how you got rid of those weeds you mentioned at the very end of the post?
Thanks for the great inspiration. I will be finding a place to put those beautiful ground covers somewhere in my yard now!

Eileen said...

Maddie,

Unfortunately, I've found no great way to get rid of the weeds except by pulling them. I've got a great, skinny little spade that works perfect. Every Spring (it's almost time!) I spend a day getting the whole courtyard weeded and then for the rest of the growing season, it's something that I do periodically. I hear about plants that are "weed barriers", but I think I've got some pretty tenacious weeds!

Good luck on your backyard!

Penny H said...

Beautiful courtyard!
I have this same look in my backyard except I used flagstone instead concrete. The thyme has been growing for 6 years or so and I now need to trim it back because it is covering so much of the stone. I too have the weed problem and do the same... spend an afternoon getting them out and keep on top of them afterwards. I have tried a few other ground covers and the thyme is the best under foot and the smell is heavenly. The overall look is beautiful but it does require maintenance. In the end it is so worth it!

Eileen said...

Penny,

I agree. There's definitely some maintenance, but it's worth it. I'll bet your patio is gorgeous with the flagstone.

Fishtail Cottage said...

Love this post - the colors are beautiful! I host a garden party that returns The first week of May, hope to see you link up sometime....you have a lot to share! xoxo tracie

Fishtail Cottage said...

Ps -curious what you planted? Is it all thyme? Would love to know what you planted & if you are still happy w/your choices?
-tracie

Anne @ anneschmall at hotmail . com said...

I love this idea, we have a garden on the north side of our house that has a stone path in it, currently it is pebble rocks but I would love to put in large slab rock and then something in between. What state are in you in, I'm trying to figure out if thyme would be something that would grow in my area or not.

Bklynebeth said...

What is the one called that has the purple flowers? Gorgeous!!

Eileen said...

I believe the purple one is the creeping thyme.

thistlewoodfarm said...

Someone sent me this link because I am trying to decide what to plant between my pavers.

What is the name of the plant with the dark green leaves.

blessings,
karianne

Eileen said...

Karianne,

The darkest leaved thyme in the picture is the Elfin thyme.

Good luck with your project!
Eileen

D Cabral said...

Beautiful!!! Are the types of thyme you used edible/culinary thyme, as well as decorative? Would love to know, since I am also embarking on a backyard redo AND a culinary garden. Thank. :-)

Rosie said...

Just found a photo of yours on Pinterest (http://pinterest.com/pin/5488830766895345/) and I came by to say how utterly gorgeous your courtyard looks. So inspiring!

Anonymous said...

WONDERFUL FANTASTIC! I WILL LIKE TO DO IN MY LARGE FARM. LIVE IN SOUTHERN BRAZIL AND HERE IS ICE ON THE FLOOR DURING WINTER!!
  COLD TO RESIST THIS PLAN?
WHAT IS THE NAME OF PLANT?
SORRY FOR BAD ENGLISH.
marcosandredaluz@yahoo.com.br

Eileen said...

A clima aqui e bem paricido ao Sul de Brasil. Ha muitos tipos de "Thyme" plantado--elfin,wooly, mother of thyme e otros tambem. Descupe, eu nao se os nomes em Portugues. Acho que creceria bem in seu lugar. Eu morei em Porto Alegre 20 anos atraz. Boa sorte com seu projeto. Me descupe pelo mal Portugues.

Anonymous said...

How did you start them? From seeds? Also where did you buy it from

Anonymous said...

How did you start them? From seeds? Also where did you buy it from

Eileen said...

No, they weren't from seeds. I just used flats of thyme and broke each plant into at least 2-3 smaller plants. I just got them from our local nursery.

Anonymous said...

Where are you located? I'm in Cleveland Ohio and wanted to know if this will work in my climate.

Lizzard said...

How did you make the "stones"?

Anonymous said...

You can use hydrogen peroxide in your fountain, it clears it up and turns back into oxygen so it doesn't hurt any wild life

kalsti said...

Eileen I love your patio! Beautiful job. Could you please let me know how you painted the concrete? (What type of paint, colors, etc.) The "rock" seems to have multi colors and I wondered how you did that.