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Hardiness Zone Map


Ajuga

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Bugleweed

From the Latin abigo, to drive away, Ajuga was thought to drive away disease. To some of us that disease is winter; the remedy is Bugleweed, herald of spring, with its clear blue, white or pink flowers. The crisp, crinkled foliage hugs the ground for a quick-spreading, evergreen carpet. Use Ajuga en masse under a high canopy, or to soften the hard edges of walls and paving. A moisture-retentive soil is recommended.

<i>Ajuga</i> ‘Chocolate Chip’

A new arrival from Italy, this unique Ajuga offers tiny, reddish chocolate-brown foliage. Spreading with vigor, the narrow lustrous leaves form a finely textured, close-knit ground cover trimmed by 6 in. tall spikes of bright blue flowers.

For a warmly colored tapestry effect, plant ‘Chocolate Chip’ en masse with Acaena ‘Purpurea’ alongside.

Blooms March–mid-May

Size: 3" – 6" high x 12" & spreading wide.

Hardy to zone 4.

<i>Ajuga pyramidalis</i> ‘Metallica Crispa’

It’s not a cereal advertised on MTV, but a curious combination of metallically reflective, scrunchy purple leaves, and spikes of deep blue flowers. This one is a sound choice for tight situations, between stepping stones or in a woodland setting. A good ground cover with Viburnums.

Blooms March–early June

Size: 6" high x 12" & spreading wide.

Hardy to zone 4.

Lodged amid a flat of Ajuga reptans ‘Braunherz’, in a laboratory of all places, this plush offspring was first spotted by British nurseryman Mike Tristam in 1998. Forging a bold, peppy ground cover, broad eggplant-purple leaves—crinkled, wavy and scalloped—are burnished with a shiny veneer and mahogany highlights. The vibrant showing of violet-blue flowers alights stout upright stalks above a dense, weed smothering foundation that remains evergreen during most winters and braves heat spells, sunny locales as well as rabbits and deer. (pp#15,815)

Blooms April–June

Size: 4' 0" – 5' 0" high x 12" – 2' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 4.

<i>Ajuga reptans</i> ‘Catlin’s Giant’

‘Catlin’s Giant’ is twice the size (and has twice the impact) of most other Ajugas. Its deep blue flower spires rise 12 in. above large, shiny bronze leaves. Let this one loose in a rock garden, or plant it under Corylopsis for an overlapping, opulent display of blooms.

Blooms March–mid-May

Size: 12" high x 12" & spreading wide.

Hardy to zone 4.

Light up your garden path with these stunning 12 in. pinkish lavender flower spikes that actually do resemble torches. Emerging from bronze winter foliage, which is followed by the fresh green leaves of spring, such color will brighten the darkest days.

For a dramatic play of colors, place the plant under Sambucus nigra ‘Black Beauty’ or near Clematis ‘Freda’.

Blooms March–mid-May

Size: 8" – 10" high x 12" & spreading wide.

Hardy to zone 4.

Embellished with blue pagodas, this verdurous Ajuga ‘Chocolate Chip’ sport produces a refined, low-to-the-ground emerald-green carpet of small slender leaves. Aptly named ‘Emerald Chip’ makes a gleaming well-trimmed understory for Physocarpus ‘Summer Wine’s lavish crimson-red foliage.

Blooms March–mid-May

Size: 3" – 6" high x 12" & spreading wide.

Hardy to zone 4.

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Current Staff's Favorite Plant

Current Staff's Favorite Plant

Our featured plant: Athyrium ‘Ghost’

Feathery-fine ferns, Refresh your summer border, Summer Shipping!

Characterized by delicate-looking fronds...

the deer-proof ferns, which are featured above, unfurl spritely new fiddleheads every spring. All are deciduous save for the lustrous Polystichum, otherwise known as Tassel Fern. Varying shades of green, metallic silver, russet, bronze and burgundy imbue their artful foliage. Second-to-none for shady alcoves, these easy-care perennials can be planted as specimens or grouped in shade gardens, mixed borders and woodland settings. Their filigree-fine features lend sophisticated accents to patio containers or cut arrangements. Ferns will flourish in cool , well-drained moist nooks enriched with compost or well-rotted manure.  

Refresh your summer plantings...

During the month of July, gardeners sometimes wonder how they can perk up their summer gardens. Sunshine-hued blooms, golden leaves and crisp white flowers lend lively accents. They can be sprinkled amid a mixed border, perennial bed or other plantings, melding well with flowers that include a broad color spectrum from blue-violet to purple and lilac, as well as clear pink and darker rose hues.  

Apart from adding more plants, there are a few simple maintenance techniques that will help your garden maintain a fresh appearance during the summer. The addition of a chipped-bark mulch or well-rotted compost early in the season, not only reduces water requirements throughout the warmer months, but promotes vigorous growth and peppy-looking foliage. Many perennials, such as Nepetas and Geraniums, can be trimmed in June or July. This midseason cut back ensures a tidy stature and more blooms, often all the way ‘til frost.

We hope some of the plants in this newsletter spark some interest and beckon you to dig them into that empty spot in your garden.  

 

 

 

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