Wednesday, May 9, 2012
Bugle-Weed Becomes Us ~
The front walk-way to our home has been a true gardening challenge.When we first built our home it was shaded by towering firs, cedars, and hemlocks. We loved the trees surrounding our home and by choice planted shade-loving flora & fauna, and just as we felt our landscaping plans were finished, needing only maintenance, a windstorm knocked our trees down and 3 of them fell on and through our roof crushing it, requiring major repair.We had the few remaining trees surrounding our home cut down and then had to re-think our shade garden landscaping, because now most of our flower beds were in the sun.
What surprised us was many of the plants we had already planted for shade, were thriving in full sunshine now.The blooming plant here is Ajuga, or commonly called 'Bugle-Weed'. Along with the a fore-mentioned violets, and Lady's Mantle,the Bugle-weed not only thrives, but prospers. The blue color appeals to us, but even better, my husband & I sit on the porch and watch the bees and hummingbirds constantly humming and buzzing to and fro. Butterflies too are attracted to the flowers.
The Bugle-weed has popped up in other places around our property, just as the violet and Lady's Mantle have, showing an ability to withstand the extremes the weather dishes out. From very hot and dry, to very wet, cold, and dark. These plants all have withstood my dogs urinating and defecating on them regularly, my ducks digging through them and squashing them, and slugs galore!Here they are, my Ajuga, violets, and Lady's Mantle, blooming again to please the bees and hummingbirds, make our entrance pretty, and this pleases us. I need to mention, they are growing on rocks,with sidewalk on one side, and the house foundation on the other, so when I say the growing conditions can be very hot and dry, believe me, this is true!
I should also mention the Bleeding Hearts too. They grow up along our porch and they have seeded themselves in many other places on our property. Oh boy do the hummingbirds love these!
Look at the Ajuga and Bleeding Hearts ,what abundance, especially for nectar gatherers.I do miss our shady porches and the towering trees,but a sun-shiny front porch with such hardy and prolific flowers has proven to be just as much of a respite from the days work, and I have to admit, seeing hummingbirds flying around the porches and enjoying the blooms, and realizing although we had planted for shade,the plants have done even better in the sun ,has more than made up for what we considered loss.Besides, now when the windstorms rage, I don't worry about our roof giving way to trees, and that counts for a LOT! "Ajuga :about 50 species of low-growing annuals ( they grow all year round here *) and perennials make up this genus, which ranges through Europe, Asia,Africa, and Australia, mainly in cooler regions....the plants spread by runners or underground rhizomes, some forming extensive carpets.They make attractive ground covers, especially for shady places, such as corners of courtyards." 'The Plant Book' The Plant Book (Mynah)