Lawns or Plants to Walk On
Grass is not the only plant that can be walked on, though it is probably the best to withstand hard wear. Lawns of chamomile or thyme have been popular for centuries and both have the added merit of being aromatic.
Chamomile is Anthemis nobilis, a native herb with feathery leaves, sprawling stems and small white daisy-type flowers. It can be raised from seed or divided and eitheror divisions can be planted 15-20cm (6-8in) apart to form a lawn. It will take some time before they cover the ground completely and they will need to be cut from time to time to make them branch freely, though cutting need not be so frequent as for a lawn of grass, nor should it be closer than 3cm (1-1/4in) or the plants may be destroyed.
Chamomile is more drought-resistant than grass and can be used forin places that might be too hot and dry for grass lawns. The same is true of thyme, which also thrives particularly well on alkaline soils over chalk or limestone, conditions that do not suit the finer grasses. Thymus serpyllum and Thymus lanuginosus are the two best species to use since both are naturally mat-forming and require no cutting at all. Space the plants 15-20cm (6—8in) apart. The only subsequent care needed is to remove .
Another idea is to make a flowery pavement by growing prostrate plants in the crevices between paving slabs. This reduces the amount of wear the plants get, since most people, using the paving, will step over the plants rather than on them. The choice of plants therefore becomes very much greater and includes many of the small dianthus species and hybrids, all the helianthemums, prostrate veronicas, the mat-forming phloxes, acaenas, cotulas, Mentha requienii, all the small arenarias, all the prostrate , the small creeping or mat-forming erodiums, ajugas, prunellas, nummularia, and small campanulas such as C. cochlearifolia and C. posharskyana.
The plants must be able to root down intobeneath the paving. This does not mean that no cement can be used to hold the paving slabs firmly in place, but it should be restricted to one or two blobs beneath each slab, with the rest filled in with soil, including the crevices between the slabs.