Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Blooming iris, ground covers and crack fillers

As we are always sharing pictures from the farm, I thought it was about time to show how the plants from the farm grow elsewhere - specifically at my house.

I have had the privilege to steal at no cost the plants from my parents' garden. A lot of the perennials at our house in Morristown such as the Iris Pallida Variegata, Snow Queen siberian iris, lily of the valley and others were first rooted at the Hunterdon County nursery. This is especially true of our groundcovers.

Two years ago my father and a friend helped put in a natural, blue stone patio. My wife, who is an engineer is more partial to order and symmetry - bricks, pavers or any type of concrete tessellation are much more to her liking. For me, the PR "creative" guy, I liked the piece-it-together look (plus it was the cheap option).

This led to a patio that inevitably would be slightly uneven and with its share of cracks between the slabs of rock. The fact that the stone fit together, is a lot less amazing than the fact that some plants despite being tromped by footsteps, planted in a terrible combination of stonedust and dirt can actually survive and flourish.

Walkway onto the patio.

The Wholly Thyme has spread, well, like a weed. Though it has no more than 4 inches wide of soil, it has spread a couple feet across. As they were planted in the fall following the construction, it has only been rooted for a year and a half. Hopefully, the new quart-sized Wholly Thyme and Irish Moss will flourish as well as the veterans.

Just takes a little "thyme" for it to take off.

A more upright variety of creeping thyme has done extremely well despite my wife's aversion to it. It grows roughly 6 inches or higher in the summer, which is too high in her opinion. I am starting to come around to agreeing after watching friends walk on the patio like it was a mind field. It has filled in the cracks of the patio and has started spreading seedlings through out many other areas - just our luck...

Only a matter of Thyme before it takes over.

More to both of our tastes, Creeping Jenny has done well in the patio and offers great color. Hopefully it will take off like a yellow carpet that will be able to handle the footsteps to and from the park and pond behind our house. We don't have much of a yard but at least we have one heck of a view.

Creeping into the park it doesn't take long for Creeping Jenny to take off.

Walkways leads to view of Burnham Park


Greg said...

Wow, I want a patio like that! I've always loved all those little plants, the "crack plants" so-called. I'm always amazed and encouraged by them, that they can thrive against such adversity...the poor soil, being regularly trod upon...

Sounds like you need to trim that thyme and use the results in your cooking!! Or maybe try german chamomile--as I recall, that actually responds to regular cutting by lowering the height of its flowers...and oh, the fragrance when you step! I've just sown some of their powdery little seeds and look forward to the rests.

Fun to see your garden, J! I'm jealous of your back-door discount from the nursery--all I've ever wanted is one or two of every plant and the space to do something fun with them!

Muum said...

Your patio looks great, I have some creeping jenny, but it doesn't get people stepping on it. We have some thyme on a smaller rock pathway, and I love it there. Also have some irish moss, but it is slower to fill in. experimenting w/ some mini-sedum, too, as filler.