The Q&A Archives: Herb Lawn

Question: We recently built a playhouse for our children in an area of our property that is down a winding path and would be difficult to mow if we planted grass. I was curious about herbs as an alternative. However, they would have to be able to withstand children's playing. Any suggestions?

Answer: If the area is sunny, you might try chamomile, which is a bit weedy and will not mind some trampling. It also self sows to renew itself. You might also consider the low growing creeping thymes, perhaps mixed with a cobble or stepstone path. This will handle some foot traffic, but steady use will wear a path through it just as it will with nearly any plant. For a partially shady area you might try Mazus repens, a tenacious spreader and handles traffic quite well. You may find that it becomes muddy under heavy use in all seasons and that an area of bark mulch or gravel or similar material is more practical to maintain.

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