Planting the Patio!










When we purchased our home last year we inherited a few interesting landscaping characteristics, and I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned a couple of them before.  I would love to “take care” of these characteristics, but neither time nor my wallet allows for that yet, so I’m always looking for ways to improve the look of my interesting landscape.  My current project is the concrete block patio that adorns the rear of my house.  Now keep in mind I live in Syracuse, New York right in the middle of the Snow Belt, so the idea that concrete pavers were used as a patio is a bit perplexing for many obvious reasons.

So I’ve been doing some research on tough round cover to fill in the open spaces, cover the weathered blocks, but also preserve a nice antiqued feel (like the image above).  I first considered the environment; amount of shade/sunlight, amount of traffic, amount of rain received, soil conditions (it’s a patio so soil is pretty “stony”), etc…When I was done with this I research ground covers in general and came up with the following 4 favorites…

Creeping Thyme





Carpet Bugleweed





Creeping Jenny





Dead Nettle




So now all I have to do is figure out which one I want to take over the patio.  I’m leaning towards the creeping thyme, mostly because that’s what my wife likes the most and ultimately she will make the decision.  I’ll try to post pictures mid-summer to show what I went with.  If you have any suggestions I’d love to hear them.

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  • Sarah Wooller

    Which of these you want probably depends on the drainage you have. Thyme likes a stiff drainage – whereas creeping jenny likes it damp or wet and is very pretty in flower! The bugle weed I am assuming is Ajuga which I have only just started with in the form of Caitlin’s giant. It is spreading well in very damp spots, and has really glossy leaves. And the deadnettle is a weed round here. I can’t say I think it’s anything special.

    We have nothing like your cold so I can’t comment on how hardy they are – but they are all fine with some frost.

  • tuffguardhose

    You are completely right, and I should have mentioned “drainage” as part of my research but not being an issue for me I left it out. I use all of these EXCEPT the Creeping Thyme, and you’re right again what I call Bugleweed (my daughter likes the name) is in fact Ajuga. I use Ajuga mixed in w/ my Vinca minor and it looks very pretty, the Creeping Jenny I grow on the tops of some of my stone walls where the water collects. Deadnettle is a weed here as well, and man is it tough hence the reason for planting it in a patio where the traffic is abundant.
    Thanks for the comment Sarah!! Jim