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Showing posts with the label ajuga

Garden Edit - Nook Behind Weeping Cypress - Hosta Replacement Project - May 2024

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Last month, I wrote about how 2024 might end up being the year of the great "Garden Edit" for our backyard .  I collected my thoughts about what I was drawn-to garden-wise and that boiled down to a few things:  planting in masses, focused on plants that work for our garden, have some appeal foliage-wise and have some four-season appeal (or at least 2 or 3 season).   I outlined a few places that I thought about editing including around the tree swing tree, the kitchen curved bed, IB2DWs and the 'hosta replacement project' on both sides of far backyard.   The first "Garden Edit" that I took on was the tree swing tree .  Where, I reorganized some things and pulled the Hakonechloa Macra (green ones) Grasses to the front and plan on carrying that drift further back.   The second "Garden Edit" was the southside Hosta Replacement Project/Stumpery .  I pulled out a number of hostas and transplanted the All Gold Hakonechloa Macra grasses from the Tree Swing

Angelina Sedum - Dividing in Spring - May 2024

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Last Fall, I discovered a quart-sized Ajuga - Burgundy Glow - that was planted in one of the kid's fairy garden was going REALLY well and I figured I could transplant it into the ground and extend it to being a perennial groundcover.  After all, I have had A LOT of luck with another Ajuga - Chocolate Chip.  So, I dug it out of the fairy garden and popped it into the bed right outside our screened porch door.   Fast-forward through the Winter and the Ajuga didn't make it.  But, the idea of groundcover over here makes a lot of sense.  But, I don't think Ajuga is right for this spot.  Just a little bit away is the drift of Angelina Sedum that is planted in either side of our back stoop.  I picked up my little shovel, stuck the blade in to make a little square and yanked out two of them - right in the middle of the existing colony of Angelina Sedum.  See below for the two spots I divided: The conditions of the bed outside the screened porch are identical to where the existing

Garden Edits - Drawn to mass planting - 2024 To-Do - April 2024

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2024 is shaping up to the year of garden edits.  A lot less additions in our backyard garden, but some edits to shift towards things meet some criteria:   1.  Work in our yard. 2.  Are appealing (to me). 3.  Have some four-season appeal. That means that changing out things that don't meet those critieria (hostas) and replace them with things that do - both plants that I have on-hand and ones that I need to bring home. My time in this garden is too short to spend time or effort on plants that I don't love.  The edits that I'm thinking about right now focus on mass plantings and repetition.   There's a garden in our neighborhood that I walk past and admire often.  It has a large property with simple, repetitive-planted beds that have hostas, groundcover and a couple of other perennials.  There's A LOT of beds, but they MOSTLY ALL planted in the same pattern - groundcover in front, hostas behind and a third perennial in the rear.  It is simple.  And repetitive.  And lo

Chocolate Chip Ajuga - Hits and Misses and Maybes - April 2024

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The past few years have been a love story between me, the gardener and Ajuga 'Chocolate Chips', the groundcover.  I've bought it a few different sizes (quarts and plugs) and have scattered them around the front and back of our yard.  Some have really thrived.  Some have died totally.  And others...well...they're still TBD.  This time in early Spring is when these Ajugas take on a different form - with curled-up, darker foliage that make them standout a bit.  Soon...they'll be filled with blue/purple flowers.   Here's a look at some of those - starting with some less-than-one-year-old plugs.  These went in the bed in late May in our backyard, sort-of in-front-of the Fanal Astilbes .  The six plugs are not stretching out into six plants.  Soon...maybe this year, they'll connect to each other: Next up, is a pair of plugs that went in the backyard in late Fall.  These are planted in front of the Baby Blue Spruce Tree.  They, well...survived the winter.  Are they

Burgundy Glow Ajuga Winter Dieback - Zone 6A - March 2024

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In mid-October, I transplanted a groundcover plant (Burgundy Glow Ajuga) from one of the kid's container fairy gardens into the small foundation bed outside of our screened porch door .  It has a massive set of roots that I had to man-handle to get out of the container and that likely put the plant under a lot of stress.   Then...the cold temperatures arrived and it appears that this plant didn't have much time to recover and put down any new roots in its new home.   Here's what it looks like today (below).  It did NOT handle the cold temperatures as well as some of my other Ajuga colonies. Now...a closer inspection reveals that ALL might NOT be lost.  My eye spies a small (maybe quarter or less of the plant) that appears to have healthy (although winter-damaged) foliage.  That *might* mean that it can come back as the temperatures warm up.  I'll be keeping an eye on it in the next few weeks to see if it wakes up.  I'm going to try to apply some biosolids in/around

Cleaning Up Front Porch Beds - Ornamental Grasses for Compost - February 2024

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A couple of days ago, I posted in my [compost bins] diary a look at the current state of my bins now that I've topped them off with a lot of ornamental grass material - reeds, canes and blades.  I tried to chop the material down into smaller segments in an attempt to break it up a bit and speed decomposition.    While I was cleaning up the grasses, I also went into the front porch bed and clipped off and cleaned up the front of the bed.  That included a number of Dusty Millers and all of the Seslaria Autumnalis (Autumn Moor Grass) .    Here, below, is a look at this bed after I trimmed up the Moor Grasses - but left behind some of the Fall leaf litter that has accumulated over Winter:  I also have three large Karl Foerster Feather Reed Grasses in the island bed between our driveway and front walk.  I pruned all of those ornamental grasses and cut them off an inch-or-two above their crown.  That island bed after the ornamental grasses have been cleaned up for Spring is below: I'

Five More Ajuga 'Chocolate Chip' Tri-Color Groundcover Plants - November 2023

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Ajugas.  More Ajugas.  They're awesome plants.  So, why not fill in some spots, right? I've already posted about a pair of Burgundy Glow Ajugas (one IB2Dws and other by Screened porch) and eight Ajuga 'Chocolate Chip' - five in the Driveway Island bed and three on the south border of the front porch bed.  I bought another six-pack of Ajuga 'Chocolate Chip' and while I'm pretty sure I planted all six, I can only (now) count five.  Here are a few photos showing those five.  First, three in the front IB2DWs section - filling in the space by the 2-year-old GreenVelvet boxwoods.  Then, two more in back - fronting the new Baby Blue Spruce tree by the Linden espalier. I've had some luck with Fall Planting Ajuga, so here's hoping these five take.  And..who knows...maybe I'll discover the sixth this Winter - once I pick up all the leaves. I'm posting this in November 2023, but I did this dividing and transplanting in mid-October 2023.

2nd Burgundy Glow Ajuga Planted - Screened Porch - November 2023

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Last month, I posted details of my 3rd Ajuga variety:  Burgundy Glow.  I found one at Lowe's and tucked it into the IB2DWs bed near the driveway .  In that post , I looked at the tri-color foliage and how it is a little bit slower-grower than 'Chocolate Chip'.  Well...it tuns out that I'm (now) planting a second one.  That was a gift of sorts. Back earlier this Summer, the kids made Fairy Gardens.  One of the plants that one of the girls bought - but LEFT IN THE CONTAINER - is an Ajuga Burgundy Glow.  Here below are a few photos - including how this thing had roots coming out the bottom big-time: I carefully peeled the container away and decided to stick it into the backyard - right off the patio, by the screened porch door - hoping it will fill in the space and hug the patio.  See below for the size: More groundcover.  More, indeed.   I'm posting this in November 2023, but I did this dividing and transplanting in mid-October 2023.

8 More Ajuga Chocolate Chip Planted In Front - October 2023

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Looking at my 2023 to-do list, there are a number of items that sort-of 'work together'.  Like...evergreens and under the lindens.  #3 (improve the front porch bed) and #17 (keep going with groundcover) are like that:  they work together. This post is the lastest in my 'Fall Planting' series and focuses on groundcover - specifically Ajuga Chocolate Chip .  The past week or so, I bought two small ones from Lowe's and a six-pack from the orange big box store.  Fall Planting in full swing. I tucked the two larger ones in the island bed on the stair-side of the Karl Foerster Grasses.  Below is how they look from the driveway: And below is the view from the stairs; the two groundcover plants are tucked in close and will (hopefully) fill in this area with a sort-of 'living mulch'. The six-pack is like the ones that I planted earlier this year: I put three of the six in that same island bed, but this time on the driveway side: And, I put the other three in a line o

Burgundy Glow Ajuga - Added IB2DWs - October 2023

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One of the plants that I have learned to absolutely love is Ajuga 'Chocolate Chip'.  I've planted it in a few places and each time I see it, I say to myself:  I should put this stuff everywhere.   It is a great 'living mulch' and plays well with other plants - won't take over in the same ways that something like Creeping Jenny seems to do in my garden.  I've mostly added 'Chocolate Chip' , but earlier this year I also planted six Ajuga 'Bronze Beauty' plugs in the back garden.  I haven't really noticed them doing anything, but most of them seem to have established themselves this Summer.   That Ajuga 'exploration' is the reason why I came home with a single plant (yes...I know one groundcover plant is a mistake) from the Lowe's end-of-the-season sale:  A Burgundy Glow Ajuga.  See below for a look at the foliage: What makes Burgundy Glow special?  From Walters Garden come these features:  tri-colored foliage, blue flowers and

Autumn Moor Grass - Peak Season - October 2023

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Back earlier this Summer, I bought and planted eight Autumn Moor Grasses - Sesleria Autumnalis - from Northwind Perennial Farm in Wisconsin .  They went in a staggered planting in our front porch beds to provide two things:  something interesting in front of the boxwoods that wasn't too tall AND something that would come up after the large Allium foliage begins to die back and would hid the dying leaves.   One of the things at all gardeners chase is the notion of a four-season garden.  You want things to be interesting and in-bloom in Spring, Summer and Fall.  And, ideally have a little winter show during dormancy.  That notion - of bloom time coupled with their short height - is what sold me on these Autumn Moor Grasses .  They show strong in the Fall.  Here we are on October 1st and what do they look like in their first year?  Like real stars: They're just what I wanted - with low, mounding foliage and see-thru seed heads that rise up above.  The Dusty Miller volunteers sort-

Shaggy Shield Fern Update - September 2023

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Last Fall, I divided two Shaggy Shield Ferns into four clumps and transplanted them to the edge of the border with the hopes that they'd take the spot of some (fallen-out-of-favor) Ostrich Ferns that I had in this bed.  I planted them in a row and then attempted to water them in all Fall.   Earlier this Spring, I stuck six (6) Ajuga 'Chocolate Chip' plugs in the same bed both in-front-of and behind the locations of the Shaggy Shield Ferns .  At that time....(Late May), I thought that I had lost ALL of the divided ferns as none of them had thrown up new growth.    They all appeared dead.  A setback when it comes to dividing ferns.   Fast forward to today.  I was puttering around and realized that SOME of those Fall 2022 Shaggy Shield Divided ferns had made it.  I had two ferns last Summer, divided to make four small ferns.  Today...I'm back up to three Shaggy Shield Ferns.  See below for a photo showing the Shaggy Shields that have come back: There's a lot going on

Autumn Ferns - Pre-Fall Colors - September 2023

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The three Autumn Ferns that have changed everything I think about ferns in the garden are at their peak pre-color-change right now - mid-September.   They are full, lush and alive with fronds the reach up and out and curl ever-so-slightly in this shade bed.   Photo of the 'original three' below: Last Fall, I planted a number of small Autumn Ferns, but it appears that just six of them came back and made it this year .   There are a couple of plants that I'm going to seek out at the big box store end-of-season sales:  These Autumn Ferns and Ajuga Chocolate Chip for groundcover .

Chocolate Chip Ajuga - From Plug to Plant In 90 Days - August 2023

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At the end of May - just about 90 days ago - I planted a series of Ajuga 'Chocolate Chip' plugs around the beds including a border of six right in front of some well-established Fanal Astilbes.  They went in small and have put on some size in the Summer as you'd imagine. I recently posted about a different set of Ajuga 'Chocolate Chip' in our front yard that had grown to fill in the bed .  Those, however, had a six-plus month headstart because they went in the Fall of 2022.  The six in the backyard can be see in the photo below.  They're not near touching each other, but they've put on that two-toned foliage and look good at the front of the border: Last Fall, I added a bunch of Autumn Ferns (only some of which made it over-winter ), but it sure feels like if I come across a good late-season deal on Ajuga 'Chocolate Chip', there's like...I don't know...a dozen places I could plant A LOT of them:  the front porch beds, sideyard(s), in the fr

Ajuga Chocolate Chip Update - 9 Months Later - August 2023

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Last Fall, I planted a number of small containers of Ajuga Chocolate Chips that I brought home from Lowes and their year-end sale.   I put some in the back and stuck three of these groundcover plants into the little island bed that is tucked in between our driveway and front walk/stairs/porch.  I don't seem to have posted any photos in the garden diary, but I ended up taking one.  But, in the photo I have from late October 2022 (below), there's only two Ajuga Chocolate Chip in this bed.  You can see that they were pretty small and green. That was very late October.  So, what do this groundcover look like nine-months later?  See below for an update.  And.....surprise!  There's three of them.  (I guess that I ended up planting a third here???) They've spread out and filled in some of that space.  They're doing exactly what they're supposed to do:  fill out that bed, cover up the mulch to make more of a 'living mulch', reduce the number of footcandles so t

Ajuga Bronze Beauty - 6 Plugs - May 2023

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Last week, I shared the 14 plugs of Ajuga Chocolate Chip that I planted around the backyard as groundcover near the border of some of the beds.  In that post, I talked about how I had grown in my appreciation of Ajuga Chocolate Chip (and groundcover writ large).  I came across it first from Erin the Impatient Gardener and her talk with Roy Diblik.  I bought the first few containers last Fall .   I recently came across a second Ajuga variety:  Bronze Beauty.  Same deal from Home Depot:  Six-pack of them.  Of note, this Bronze Beauty has a purple handle - and says it is designed for SHADE.   I decided to give it a try in two different situations:  First...tucked in between (and at the feet) of some established hostas.  See below for those hostas and Ajuga Bronze Beauty together: And, I put the other three right along the fire pit metal border - you can see those below.   #17 on my to-do list was to 'keep going with groundcover' - and I now have put in 20 Ajuga plants.  Pretty go

14 Ajuga Chocolate Chip Plugs Planted - May 2023

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2022 was the year of groundcover in my garden.  I added dozens of various carex and at the very end of the season, I found five small quart-sized Ajuga Chocolate Chip plants and stuck them in the ground .  The groundcover of my mother - vinca and pachysandra - are out.  And sedges and Ajugas are in.  At least...for me. I was surprised (not sure why?) to find these six packs of Ajuga Chocolate Chip at the orange Big Box store - see below for the nursery tray of the six plugs:  They carry this tag:  Bugleweed 'Chocolate Chip' - Ajuga Tenorii I opted to put six on one side of the backyard and six on the other. Below is a look at the curved border - kitchen window border - with the Fanal Astilbes being (now) fronted by six Ajuga Chocolate Chip. Behind these - around the Oakleaf Hydrangeas - we are fighting Vinca that has crept over from our neighbor's yard.  I planted two of these plugs in amongst some of the vinca.  Hoping that the Ajuga can outcompete the Vinca. On the other