That's because I removed the grass from my lawn and planted thyme in that space. I reasoned that the front lawn was never needed for a picnic or a croquet game and mowing was tedious. It has worked wonderfully. The small plants I planted have spread to cover all the space:
|The lawn just after it was planted.|
The thyme lawn never needs mowing. It does need weeding--dandelions, bluegrass and all the local weeds seed in. It also needs to be trimmed back: the plants would happily expand to cover the sidewalk.
Originally I planted two species of thyme (varieties of Thymus serpyllum and T. praecox) and a speedwell (turkish speedwell, Veronica liwanensis) since I reasoned that monocultures were unnatural. Eight years later most of the speedwells have vanished, outcompeted by the thymes. While nature rarely has a monoculture, it is not because the individual species have any objection to creating a monoculture. Most species will crowd out all others if the conditions permit.
But I weed. If I pull out the dandelions and bluegrass I can maybe keep a lawn of just the two species of thyme and a bit of speedwell. If I quit intervening, the lawn would doubtless become more diverse, with a variety of local weedy plants moving in. Some would be taller plants than the thymes which would shade them out except along the edges of the lawn. So I weed, and this year, removed the thyme immediately around the surviving speedwells, in order to help them stay in the lawn.
|Small purple thyme flowers and larger, bluer speedwell flowers|
Tired of mowing your lawn? Try thyme!
Comments and corrections welcome.