Thyme can be grown as a path edging, in spaces within a path so that one
steps over each plant when walking along the path, or in spaces within a paved area.
Less vigorous low growing thymes can be grown in large pieces of tufa.
As far as the so-called thyme lawn is concerned, this is definitely not advisable.
Thyme resents being walked on and the plants will die, so please do not
try this at home, whatever one may read in books and magazines or see on television!
However if paths or stepping stones are incorporated into the garden design one can then walk
through the thyme without damaging it. Brushing against the plants will
release the fragrance from the leaves and this will only have the effect of light pruning.
If one really wants to have a fragrant lawn on which to walk, a camomile lawn is ideal.
Besides smelling fragrant when walked on, it actually likes it, as this helps to keep it flat!
My camomile lawn was featured in Spring in the Garden by Steven Bradley.
Camomile 'Treneague' is a non-flowering variety and is planted as bare-rooted
slips and can be obtained from specialist nurseries. In a paved area in a
small garden it can replace two or three paving slabs; not only is it more practical
than a grass lawn, it is much nicer.
An example of a thyme lawn in the wild is at Ramparts Field picnic site, Icklingham, Suffolk, where it is growing with roughly
60% short grass.
In a small garden a lawn such as this would look untidy, although it could be acceptable in a wild part of a large garden!