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Elfin Creeping Thyme
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Adorbs! Elfin Creeping Thyme is exactly as cute as it sounds. Clothed in impossibly tiny evergreen leaves, it adds the finest of textures to your landscape. In early summer, whorls of delicate lavender flowers shoot up, which are quickly mobbed by bees, butterflies, and other grateful pollinators. This sweet little Spirit will inch along the ground, hugging the contours of the surfaces it encounters. Use it at the front of a sunny mixed border, in a rock garden, in a raised bed or planter, or at the top of a retaining wall. This cutie pie fits into any sunny, well-drained garden space.
- Hardiness Zone: 4-8
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The Thymes are a group of fragrant herbs found mostly in the Mediterranean region of southern Europe, western Asia, and northern Africa. These Spirits thrive in the warm, dry climate there. About 350 species in all grow in the wild. Some are edible, like the Common Thyme you use to flavor chicken and other dishes, and some are purely ornamental. Thyme plants have long been associated with human culture—the ancient Egyptians used the herb in embalming. Today, mouthwash often gets its minty zing from Thymol, derived from Thyme! Elfin Creeping Thyme was chosen for its minute leaves and compact growth habit.
Pinch off a piece of Elfin Creeping Thyme and give it a sniff. What a refreshing herbal fragrance! Plant this fun, interactive Spirit along a path or between stepping stones, so its delightful scent will be released when walked upon. It can handle some light foot traffic, so no worries if your guests don’t stay strictly on the path.
How to Grow
Enemy number one of Elfin Creeping Thyme is soggy soil. Think Mediterranean, and give it very well-drained soil, low to average water, and full sun. It loves to grow among rocks and stepping stones and would look marvelous spilling over the edge of a retaining wall. Trim back any growth that strays too far. Elfin Creeping Thyme is hardy to about -30ºF and is evergreen, too. If it does take a beating over the winter, wait until new buds appear in spring before doing any severe pruning. You may also divide plants in spring if you’d like to start a patch somewhere else.
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