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We have an irregular bluestone walkway leading to our back door. Spacing between the stones varies from 1.25cm to 3.75cm. Though on the south side of the house, heavy deciduous tree cover shades the area for most of the day, permitting "direct" exposure for about 2hrs in starting mid-morning.

We would love to get something established between the stones, but don't really know what would be good choices. Ideally the plant would be well behaved and not creep out too far over the stones, but that wouldn't be a deal breaker.

Suggestions?

  • Are the trees evergreen or deciduous? – Bamboo Jan 8 '15 at 13:33
  • they are deciduous - mostly ash and linden – That Idiot Jan 8 '15 at 13:41
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  • Creeping thyme - hardy to at least USDA zone 4, thins a bit in light shade, tolerates heat very well, flowers in summer and attractive to bees, maintenance limited to ripping it out when it gets too big. Never had a problem with bees but it will self seed. Not suitable for culinary use.
  • Irish moss - hardy to at least USDA zone 4, tolerates shade, small white flowers, grows slower than thyme, stays prostrate to ground at about 1 cm tall, comes in light or dark green varieties. Trouble free in eastern North America @Shule reports it needs regular water in the US Midwest
  • Creeping veronica - sun or shade - stays small - not as tolerant of foot traffic as others - white flowers in spring and irregularly during summer/fall
  • +1 for the Irish / Scottish moss. That would have been my recommendation. I've used it around walkway stones before. – Geoff Hutchison Jan 8 '15 at 16:24
  • Great. Thank you. They all look perfect, but I like the sound of the fragrant creeping thyme. – That Idiot Jan 8 '15 at 19:52
  • The thyme is great, unless you are allergic to bees and/or want to walk the area barefoot. Don't want to spoil the fun, just use caution. – Stephie Jan 8 '15 at 21:05
  • @ThatIdiot In your question, the amount of shade you describe sounds like too much for very good thyme growth. – J. Musser Jan 8 '15 at 21:25
  • Just as a note, for future visitors, Irish moss withers where I'm from if you don't give it much water. It seems to require regular attention. I imagine it might be better out east, or most of Washington, or western Oregon where it's humid than it is here in western Idaho where it's dry and hot. – Shule Jan 9 '15 at 5:36
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All the ones recommended already, plus Campanula portenschlagiana (previously Campanula muralis, sometimes still sold under that name). Note, NOT Campanula carpatica or any of the hundreds of other varieties you're likely to find available. C. portenschlagiana is a very neat grower, remains evergreen, tolerates some shade - the fact it'll be in full light all winter helps enormously. Might look a bit bruised with excessive foot traffic, but it'll recover.

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