Thymus Red Carpet (Thyme) ground cover are low growing hardy evergreen perennial herbs that will fill the air with scent on a warm sunny day. They offer a delightful mat-forming, almost ornamental creeping subshrub with finely hairy, trailing stems bearing tiny, pointed, aromatic, mid-to-dark green leaves and whorls of tiny, double, red to reddish-pink flowers in Summer which are a magnet for bees and butterflies.
Of course, you can plant these robust ground cover plants as part of a herb garden or indeed in and amongst your strawberries, but they also make a wonderful addition at the front of your borders, rockeries and pots where they will happily spread and become a scented flowering carpet. They are a delight when planted alongside pathways where they will release their aromatic scent when trodden on or brushed against. Thymus Red Carpet’s edible leaves can be used fresh or dried to flavour soups, fish, meat, sausages, stuffings and vegetable dishes.
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Thymus Red Carpet (Thyme) ground cover grow best in a warm sunny spot (the more sun it receives, the stronger the flavour if using in cooking), in well-drained soil. They look best grown at the front of a border where you could try grouping different varieties together. It is fairly drought tolerant and needs a well-drained, preferably alkaline, soil. Do water it well after planting, but it will grow well once established in fairly poor, even stony, soil. If you have soil with poor drainage – simply keep Thymus in pots where they will be quite happy.
As a rough guide when planting Thymus Red Carpet as ground cover – 4 plants per square metre is adequate with a little patience, 6 will give better coverage, and 9-12 will make a weed supressing carpet very quickly.
How to grow Thymus Red Carpet
Position: Full Sun
Foliage: Evergreen in mild Winters
Soil and site: Happy in shallow, poor soil but must be very well drained,
Flowering time: Late Spring to mid-late Summer
Growth rate: Moderate / Fast
Ultimate height and spread: Height 5cm to 30cm,
Hardiness: Fully hardy once established
Aftercare: Cut back plants after flowering to keep them compact and to promote fresh, new growth.