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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.

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

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Click here to view our mid October 2019 Newsletter featuring "Heptacodium minoniodes: A Shrub for all seasons & Salvia Splendor!

Heptacodium miconiodes: A Shrub for all Seasons....

A denizen of China, this magnificent large shrub or small-scale deciduous tree promises to inspire you no matter what the season. Large, lustrous rich green foliage is narrowly heart-shaped amid unique exfoliating bark, which peels in thin strips to reveal a warm cinnamon-brown hue. Housed in creamy white clusters, attractive fragrant blossoms unfurl in autumn, and are followed by spectacular masses of small fruit lodged inside rosy purple calyces. Preferring moist sunny alcoves, the rounded muli-stemmed habit thwarts pests, withstands most soil types, and requires little maintenance.

Savor Late Season Salvia Blooms...

Many Salvias unleash a profusion of prismatic flowers well into autumn or up to the first frost. Offering an array of sizes, leaves and flowers, some Salvias bear bicolored blooms such as S. mexicana ‘Compton’s Form’, which sports a persistent darker-hued calyx. Even after its petals are spent, the uniquely colored calyces extend a foliar effect for weeks. Beloved by pollinators, floral designers and gardeners alike, these easy-care perennials and bushy subshrubs are tailor-made for cottage gardens, mixed borders, perennial plantings, rockeries or containers. We’ve included a handful of other plants lending late season allure that can be planted amongst the featured Salvias.

All of us Digging Dog plant wranglers wish you Happy Digging!

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