This article has been checked for horticultural accuracy by Oliver Parsons.
A chamomile lawn can make a great alternative to a grass lawn, particularly where foot traffic is low or in areas that are hard to access with a lawn mower. The most suitable variety for creating a chamomile lawn is Chamaemelum nobile ‘Treneague’. This creeping variety only grows to 5-10cm in height and knits together to form a dense, weed-suppressant mat of fragrant foliage. Crucially, it does not flower, so no deadheading is required to stop the lawn becoming patchy.
If you would prefer a flowering lawn, you can instead use Chamaemelum nobile ‘Dwarf’. This grows to a height of around 15cm and makes an excellent flowering lawn. However, deadheading will be required to avoid the lawn becoming patchy. Both varieties are evergreen and fully hardy.
Chamomile lawns provide a fragrant, visually appealing lawn in the right location. Unlike grass lawns, they remain green, even in very dry weather. There’s no need to mow (although the occasional trim will keep them compact and dense), which makes them low-maintenance, and the species plant Chamaemelum nobile provides flowers for using in teas and other herbal remedies, as well as nectar and pollen for insects.
If you intend to walk on your lawn regularly, consider adding stepping stones to enable you to enjoy the space without damaging it. However, light bruising of the leaves is to be encouraged, as it releases a wonderful apple-like fragrance.
Chamomile can be grown in an existing lawn, but bear in mind that the grass will eventually outcompete the chamomile. You will have a much better overall look and effect by replacing a grass lawn with one that is completely chamomile.
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