living patio, part 4

Remember the main garden project I started last year?  It's really coming together!  In May and early June I did about a million squats planting more thyme plugs to fill out the gaps in the grid.  I couldn't plant all four flats very quickly so I nursed them along inside on our kitchen counters and the bay window of my studio until the last one was in the ground.

Yard work is the main way I get exercise, so believe it or not, the squats are a good thing.  (The very word exercise is so foreign to me that I misspelled it half a dozen times here - and I am a good speller - before finally looking it up.)  Go ahead and start making puns now cause, yes, it also took a lot of time.  Once I had a system down, though, they went in the ground pretty fast.

I planted all creeping thyme varieties so they won't get too tall and trip people walking across it. I planted  woolly, lemon balm, some Reiter's, paprika and nutmeg, giving a  variety of different flowers and scents plus softening the grid aesthetic a touch.  Lemon is on the far outer edge so we get it's fresh smell in the last few steps across the patio on our way to the driveway. Lemon also flowers heavily creating a bright white edge to the grid. I put woolly thyme in the most trafficked areas and places that get the most sun or snow.  Basically, in my observation, woolly can take a beating in all seasons and still look pretty good even if it doesn't bloom or offer much aroma.  And considering those points a possible plus, I also planted woolly in spots closer to sitting areas so as to not attract bees right under your seat!

The plugs are less than two fingers around, so I used a small wood plant marker (almost as big as a tongue depressor) to pop them out of the plug tray.  My long heavy Japanese garden knife (the most amazing garden tool ever) poked perfect holes for me to pop the plugs into the ground.  Notice the 5 gallon pot under the tray?  It's left over from a tree I bought from a nursery last year.  I save a stack of these buckets, especially the big ones, and drag them around to hold debris when I'm weeding.  They are handy for transplanting spreaders that I can give away to  friends, too.  (Here, the pot serves as a lightweight table to minimize some of the bending.)

I top dressed all the planted plugs with soil pep to keep the roots cool and weeds down.  Remember the soakers are in between most of the pavers, so it has really taken off.  And it's been raining a lot here, too, which is giving this patio a fabulous start!  Yippee!  (Stay tuned for more current photos soon.)


trena said...

I remember seeing the first phases of this project last summer - I need to come see it now! I do the same thing: keep the plastic buckets for hauling weeding/gardening debris. Great minds... :) Can't wait to see more photos.

Chris said...

Hurray for backyard gardens!

Tonette said...

Thanks guys! Yes, Trena, great minds and you do! A fence on the sides won't be up for a few weeks, but then the space will really come together nicely. We also got an Adirondack chair built by Mennonites when we were in Nashville that is super comfy and smart looking. It's all great!

Laurie said...

This is gonna be so cool when its grown in Toni. And you can make endless blackening seasoning with all that thyme!

Tonette said...

Thanks, Laurie! Oh yeah, it's thyme central over here. I have a couple of culinary thyme varieties well established at this house now....and chives and other goodies. You know I love to season and grill!