The space is small and the conditions are harsh. This little bed is about 40cm wide between the bluestone alleyway and the asphalt path to the letter box. It is about a metre long. Sometimes, when we are reversing out of the alley, we impinge on its borders. This spelt the end of the inappropriately chosen Phormium tenax cultivar that had been growing there sparsely for a number of years. We replaced it with a Lomandra longifolia we had been given and it keeps the remaining phormium company. But really it is a bland little planting.
A ground hugging creeper could be a solution. I had it in my mind to carpet the bed with Corsican Mint (Mentha requienii), so that when traffic (foot or automotive) strays onto the bed, there will be a lovely crushing of leaves and a release of creme-de-menthe aroma.
The problem of course is that I could not find a trace of this plant in any of the nearby nurseries. Too impetuous to order the plant that I wanted and had spent some time planning on buying, I hastily grabbed two ground-huggers that might fulfil a similar function of softening this stony spot without getting in the way.
In retrospect of course I realise that they are not compatible bed fellows, one preferring dry and the other moist conditions. But as I am not sure what the conditions of the ground really are (we have heavy clay hereabouts, it being an old brick making area, so ‘moist’ isn’t out of the question, but I’m not sure that the soil in this bed is 100% local, so it might possibly be dry after all). Maybe I am simply hedging my bets.
The two plants are Pennyroyal (Mentha pulegium) and Woolly Thyme (Thymus pseudolanuginosus). Here are preliminary photographs of each. I will take some more pics as the season progresses. Happy gardening.