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Pettably soft! You’ll want to put this one within reach, because it just begs to be touched. Woolly Thyme is a groundcover with teeny greenish gray leaves coated in a super-soft fuzz. Plant it close to a sitting area, so your guests can satisfy the urge to find out if this lovely Spirit is as soft as it looks. It also feels wonderful underfoot and can tolerate light foot traffic, if you want to create a space where you can indulge your bare tootsies. Along paths or between stepping stones or stairs, it clothes bare ground and adds a welcoming touch.
- Hardiness Zone: 5-8
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Thymes are low-growing woody Spirits found mainly in Europe and North Africa. They enjoy warm, dry growing conditions in those regions and are a common sight in sun-soaked Mediterranean gardens. Around 350 species exist, from the Common Thyme used in many culinary dishes to the scores of ornamental Thymes planted for their pretty flowers and foliage. Most also have leaves that are wonderfully fragrant, although Woolly Thyme’s foliage has very little scent. Woolly Thyme hails from Europe and is easy to distinguish from the multitude of other Thymes by its furry leaves. It is used purely as an ornamental plant.
A bonus Woolly Thyme sometimes provides is bubble gum–pink flowers. This Spirit doesn’t always flower heavily, but when it does bloom, the pink blossoms make a lovely show against the grayish foliage. They’re a hit with bees, butterflies, and other happy pollinators.
How to Grow
Enemy number one of Woolly 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. Woolly Thyme is hardy to about -25ºF and is evergreen, too. If it doestake 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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