Because much of my garden is in at least semi-shade  I grow lots of the shade-loving ground-cover ajuga. Its bronze foliage contrasts well with silver grey lambs ears or dusty miller.  It will thrive in the most challenging of locations.

Ajuga foliage


After good spring  rain recently  the plants  have flowered like never before and there are spires of indigo all over the garden.


Ajuga flowering on a bank.

Ajuga is a great plant for a bank.

Here is ajuga used very creatively in a landscaping feature. Not by me, and I’m afraid I cannot find the origin of the photo.

juga between pavers.

Ajuga between pavers.

To my joy the plant attracts birds and bees. One morning I was walking along the flagstone path and almost tripped over a wattle bird sipping nectar from the beak-high plants. I’m not sure if the bird was naively immature or tipsy, but it was completely unafraid.   I also grow it in the cover of an old Weber bar-b-que, where it’s  another source of delight for the wattle birds.


Wattle bird sipping ajuga nectar

Sweet treat for a wattle bird.


Bee on ajuga

Ajuga nectar.


Bee on ajuga flower


Oh yes, and we must not forget the butterflies.

Ajuga with bee

A sight to lift the heaet

Ajuga  contrasts really well with yellow flowering plants such as corydalis. It reminds of a favourite poem from my schooldays, especially as the common name is bugle flower;

           The Assyrian came down like the wolf on the fold

            And his cohorts were gleaming in purple and gold.

                                                       Lord Byron.

Ajuga and Corydalis

Purple and gold

Sadly, familiarity  breeds contempt as the saying goes. Because this plant is so common and super easy to grow it is very undervalued, though certainly  not by me!

By the way, there is a pink flowering variety as well as a white one.


Pink ajuga.

Pretty in pink.

White Ajuga

Ajuga alba.












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