A carpet of rosy pink thyme literally stops traffic for several weeks in June every year in the historic Washington Park neighborhood of Denver. Rick Pratt chose thyme as a substitute for turf grass to conserve water at his Classic Homeworks residential design and remodeling firm. But he also wanted a groundcover that would complement the formal façade of the restored 1896 house. The thyme exceeded his expectations, staying neat on only 20 minutes of irrigation once a week during the growing season. What's more, it requires scant upkeep ― only deadheading twice a season and an occasional trimming to keep it in bounds.
Info: High Country Gardens ( www.highcountrygardens.com or 800/925-9387) sells five varieties of thyme recommended for lawns (plants are shipped with planting instructions).