Many years ago, whilst I was recovering from ME in the mid 1990’s, I decided that my parents’ house needed a new front garden. It was me who looked after the garden and my energy levels were erratic to say the least – the lawn required too much effort to mow regularly, so I wanted rid of it.
Over a few weeks, I stripped the turf, removed the mildewed red standard roses that grew on our side and the ancient gnarly HT roses that grew on the neighbours’ side and started again – completely.
I decided on a design of slow growing shrubs and perennials at the back leading into a lawn of thyme at the front, all with a colour theme of white, pink and purple.
The only things I had to include were lavender and a Magnolia stellata which our neighbour wanted, and sweet alyssum which I wanted because in the summer, when it flowers, it smells of honey; I love that smell. I also tried the non-flowering lawn chamomile which was erratically successful, and a few pinks and other creeping plants just because I wanted to grow them.
The house faced west, so in the evening the front pavement would be warm and the house behind hot with the heat of the day – ideal to bring out the scented oils of the plants.
Maintenance was basically cutting the thyme after flowering with hand shears – easy for me to do and it didn’t have to be done all at once which was a bonus, although it did need sharp shears. Other than that all I had to do was potter around, do a bit of dead heading, and pull out the odd weed now and then.
It doesn’t exist anymore. When my parents sold the house the new owners pulled everything up and replaced it with lawn…..I imagine they thought it would be easier to maintain.