Saturday, July 11, 2009

Ajuga - the rest of them

Since I had mentioned Ajuga in my post on ground covers, I thought I'd post a few more pictures to show the variety that is available.
This first on is my favorite (well maybe one of my favorites), at least in the spring when it is in bloom. I just love the baby pink flowers on Ajuga 'Pink Torch'. There is, or was, a version with smaller pink flowers, but I don't see it on the market any more and it has died out here, so I imagine that it wasn't very robust. The color is actually a bit darker pink than this photo would indicate.

This one is Ajuga 'Chocolate Chip. I moved some of it last year because it was in too much shade and the colors weren't showing up like they should. In eough sun, this one has shades of brown and deep burgundy along with several shades of green. The leaves are less ajuga-like and and skinny. Much more slowly spreading than most of the others.

Ajuga 'Mini Crispula' is one with very wrinkly krinkly leaves and always seems to stay as a small clump, though it does spread slowly. It is one that definitely needs sun. I lost my original clump when that garden filled in and had too much shade. I replaced it this year, putting it along the walk up to our door so I can enjoy it more often.
Ajuga 'Planet Zork' was available for several years and you either loved it or hated it. It had puckered upright leaves and looked like a real mutant. It had the bad habit of reverting to a plain green ajuga. Ours eventually died out and I won't replace this one.

This is Ajuga 'Rainbow'. We had a rather large area with this but it got too shady and then it was eaten by the deer and never recovered. I haven't seen it offered recently but would replace this one if I could. It definitely added a different color to the garden that most people weren't expecting in a foliage plant. And yes, this is the true color, not retouched in any way.

'Silver Beauty' likes some sun, but is also happy in shade. Another one that deer seem to find tasty, but I have enough of it in different places so I don't think they'll be able to totally do it in. The color is a mistly sort of grey/blue/green with some white edging. It is a bit more vigorous than some of the tempermental ones, but not to the point of being invasive.

Ajuga 'Tricoloris' should probably be more like multicoloris for all of the shades of red/burgundy, green and gold. It needs some sun to bring out the colors.

This last one probably has a name, but don't know what it is. It was a gift from a friend and came with out a name. I'm not sure I've seen a white flowered version offered in catalogs, but it is thorought hardy and spreads sort of quickly. It will always have a home here.

Ajugas are mostly easy to grow except for a few tempermental ones and most are well behaved. Bloom is in the spring when the low growing mat of leaves suddenly is covered with 6 inch tall or so spikes of flowers which are pretty long lasting and good as cut flowers in small bouquets. I don't remember any scent to the flowers. These increase mostly by runners like strawberries. This time of year you will see a large parent plant with a ring of babies all around. You can move the babies elsewhere as soon as they have roots, leave then where they are, or just compost or give them away if you've reached your quota on ajuga. At any rate, they are a quite versatile and useful plant in the garden and not worthy of theor sometime reputation of being a garden problem.

1 comment:

Sylvia (England) said...

Jane, I am fond of Ajugas as well. I like your Ajuga 'Mini Crispula' but can't find it listed in the UK. I have Ajuga reptans 'Catlin's Giant' which though it spreads quickly is a very useful in my garden.

Best wishes Sylvia