Wilde side

Kim Wilde answers your gardening questions.

I have Victorian pavers in my back garden and weeds keep growing up in the gaps between them. Any idea how I can prevent them, or what greenery I could cultivate there instead?
Plants with a spreading habit that withstand the occasional treading on include the aromatic, low-growing thymes such as Thymus doerfleri and T. serpyllum. These need a sunny position and have purple summer flowers. Another sun-lover would be Alyssum montanum, which is a rock-garden species with ash grey, hairy leaves and racemes of fragrant, bright yellow flowers in spring. Cerastium tomentosum forms a silvery carpet, with snow white flowers in summer and is ideal for crevices in paving, as is Erigeron karvinskianus which produces an abundance of pretty daisy-like flowers throughout summer. I would definitely plant Corsican mint (Mentha requienii), which has a strong peppermint aroma and tiny, semi-evergreen leaves and purple flowers. Not aromatic, but incredibly rampant, is mind-your-own-business (Soleirolia soleirolii), which has tiny evergreen leaves and will quickly colonise gaps where weeds have thrived, especially if conditions are moist. Armeria maritima (thrift) is a tough seaside plant with evergreen, grassy tufts and pink flowers on wiry stems, and Alchemilla mollis will self-sow itself around obligingly with pretty, drought-tolerant foliage. Low-growing annuals include Felicia bergeriana ‘Cub Scout’, which forms a carpet of bright green foliage covered for months on end with masses of small, brilliant blue, daisy-like flowers. Gypsophila repens is a semi-evergreen, mat-forming perennial that has clusters of white flowers all summer, while the annual Ageratum houstonianum ‘Blue Mink’ has large, fluffy, powder blue flowers. These can be sown in situ when the ground warms up to provide quick, albeit temporary, splashes of colour. For seeds, contact Chiltern Seeds on 01229 581137 (chilternseeds.co.uk).