Favorite Plants for Hypertufa - Elfin Thyme

My Hummocky Hypertufa

Wouldn’t you love a plant growing in little hummocks?

Well, of course, I had to go look that up.  One of my favorite plants is thyme. And the cutest tiny elfin thyme is the best! But I really had no clue what was meant by hummocks. So I checked over the internet and find this definition: “A hummock is a small knoll or mound above ground.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hummock

Wiki also said “An extremely irregular surface may be called hummocky.”  So I am looking forward to hummocky hypertufa planters in my garden.

Here's elfin thyme in a little hummock

Thymus serpyllum “Elfin” is the type I have in some of my hypertufa troughs. I had seen it many times and loved the way it was so tiny and tight, growing in the little humps or hummocks.

So when I researched it, I find that it is described as growing in small “hummocks” when grown in partial shade, but if it gets at least five hours of full sun each day, it grows flat or horizontal.

My T Rex Trough is in full sun most of the day, so mine is growing horizontally and hummocky. But I will be sure to put one of the other troughs in partial shade because I want to see how hummocky it can get.

My elfin thyme  is growing slightly in hummocks, I believe. It is looking hummocky even in the sun.

scotch moss in hummocks

Hadn’t heard that term, as I remember, so I will be sure to use it a lot. Check out these hummocks of moss. At least that is what I think are hummocks. What do you think? Looks pretty hummocky to me!

Meanwhile, these tiny flowers are so wonderful and I am waiting for the thyme to be completely covered.

Big Hypertufa with thyme hummocks

Plant facts:

  • zone 4-8
  • height 1-2″
  • width 4-8″
  • well-drained soil
  • full sun or partial shade (for hummocks)

I have another thyme, the variety called vulgaris? I think. This thyme is one of those used  for  cooking. It is quite a bit bigger and longer. Some of the branches are 10″ or more. I clip those for cooking. And also to keep the plant neat.

Have you grown thyme?  If you see this tiny plant for sale, it may not look like much in a tiny 3″ pot. But believe me, this one is so easy to grow.

It will spread and spread easily. If you plant it in well-drained soil such as you would use in a hypertufa planter, it doesn’t need any special treatment of any kind. And you will see it spread quickly.

I started this planting pictured here with 2 of the tiny pots and it has spread so well in just one season of growth.

Elfin thyme growing in hummocks

You can easily see the two small plants when I first planted them in the photos on this post: Loving The Miniatures.

This elfin thyme is one of my favorite plants for hypertufa. Have you grown this one? How do you like it?

It is definitely shareable since it grows so easily.  It grows tightly against the sides of the hypertufa trough and tries creeping down the sides.

What more can you ask?


  1. My mom’s planting small cactus, pinnata, Narcissus, etc in some sponge boxes on top of the house and in the small front yard. We love those tiny flowers and plants. Now I’ll definitely introduce your method with hummock hypertufa to her. Simple but impressive idea. Thank you.

  2. Wow, I never think this type of tiny plant can be grown by ourselves. Thanks for sharing with us, will definitely give it a try.

    1. I love growing the tiny ones. I guess it reminds me of being a kid and having little dollhouses.

  3. Can I plant the thyme in the glass bottles? I think it’ll very beautiful.

    1. I think you could try it. It will need a LOT of light and no cover or lid.

  4. Hi Kim,
    I never heard of hummocks. What a cute name. At one time I was obsessed with herbs and grew several types of thyme. One was called ‘minus’ which would look great in one of your hypertufas. One of my friends used to plant it in between the pavers in her sidewalk.

    1. Kim Smith says:

      Thanks, Patti, for commenting. I will try and find “minus”. I am always looking for the tiny plants.

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