Wooly thyme, among others, makes a perfectly behaved lawn alternative. Sweet smelling, drought tolerant and never needs mowing or fertilizing. What could be better? The feel of it on bare toes is a textural treat, and the look of a happy thyme lawn adds romance and an established feel to the xeric garden. Plant some among pavers too.
Surprisingly nearly as rugged as ordinary grass, Blue Star Creeper (Isotoma fluviatillis) ground cover is fast growing and can take heavy foot traffic. It creates a floral meadow in the spring and summer.