This is my cottage garden path, made from stones I dug out of the ground while trying to landscape this part of the yard. It still doesn’t quite have that English garden feel, mostly because my plants aren’t mature enough yet, but partly because the path is just stone and dirt.
Last year I bought a packet of 2,000 creeping thyme seeds off of Amazon. Since some of the reviews were questionable, I decided to start them indoors to monitor growth and moisture a little more closely. Dragon boy “helped.”
Once they germinated, I transplanted them directly into the path, and watered them every day for a few weeks to make sure they survived. Roughly thirty plants have made it.
They looked like this at the end of March-you can just barely see the tip of the second plant on the right of the picture below.
I checked on them a few days ago they had nearly doubled-there are actually four plants in this picture-two larger specimens, and two smaller in front.
Since I am pregnant, I decided against germinating these indoors, and instead decided to direct sow.
I chose an evening after a light drizzle had moistened the ground-expecting a week or so of light rain to help with germination. Then Dragon boy and I headed outside with nothing more than a pack of seeds and a desire to get dirty!
These seeds are extremely tiny. I don’t remember any directions being provided on the back of the packet last year, but that was a pretty huge complaint on Amazon, which it looks like the seller has remedied.
What I had to do last year was look this up on other websites and guesstimate requirements light/soil, and depth of planting. I mean, it’s basically just thyme-so if you have ever planted thyme before, the same instructions apply. I went to the Missouri Extension, and the Missouri Botanical Garden websites for additional zone info, but their information wasn’t any different then, say, bluestone perennials.
Even though the seeds are super tiny, I was able to pick out exactly three of them and place them carefully in Dragon boy’s hands. It was so adorable watching him work on his fine motor skills, attempting to pick these out of his hand and plant them! But he carefully, and diligently did so, counting along the way. Who says a three year old can’t help in the garden?
We planted these on April 18, and I am still waiting for some results. Its been about two weeks, and has rained nearly every day, so germination ought to be well on its way.
So what have I saved by starting these by seed? The packet is $4.50, and I counted roughly 30 plants in my garden path this spring. Bluestone Perennials sells a few different varieties of creeping thyme between $6.95-$8.95. So on the low end, I saved $208.50 last year by purchasing seeds over plants. And for me, 30 plants out of 2,000 seeds is still fine (after all, I did waste 3/4 of that packet by covering it later with sod when I realized I wanted grass instead of thyme).
I hope I am just as successful this year as I was last year. Only “thyme” will tell.