Bugleweed. And “friends.”


Some gardeners steer clear of plants like bugleweed (Ajuga reptans) – but in my case, ‘Black Scallop’ was the perfect choice for a large space that needed a pretty cover. And although it may appear that the bugleweed  is gunning for the lawn in this photo, rest assured it is actually the other way around and unfortunately presents clear photographic evidence of my faulty weeding practices.   Sigh…just keeping it real!   😉

What are your favourite ground cover plants?  Which are big no-no’s?  Are there any that you particularly favour for difficult spots (ie: under trees, in shady locations etc.)?


  1. pretty lavender blue against the chocolate. ajuga is a favourite – bees love it too. Another fave is lamium – but I’ve learnt to regret vinca minor

  2. At my old place, I had a large area under three pine trees where nothing would grow. Ajuga did! Such an attractive plant! As for keeping grass out of ground covers – let me know if you discover the how-to on that!

  3. Bigroot geranium is one of my favourites for dry shade; it even grows under spruce trees. I love ajuga too, but I lost a lot of mine this past winter. It is slowly coming back in spots. I also love sweet woodruff, some (but not all) types of lamium, golden creeping jenny, woolly thyme, mother-of-thyme and Veronica whitleyi.

    • When you start thinking about it, there are some really great groundcovers for our climate…I’m a big fan of sweet woodruff as well, but don’t have a place to grow it. The thymes are personal favourites; I love that fragrance when you brush past them! 🙂

  4. Your ajuga looks great. It is a lovely plant though too often gets covered in mildew here. But the flowers are great for bees too so it is worth planting. My favourite groundcover plant is Pachysandra terminalis which I know is boring but it does what it is supposed to do and covers the ground and does not run or die out in the centre as so many groundcover plants do. But with a little planning (ie saving seedlings so you can plant in bulk without breaking the bank) my favourite for dry shade is Cyclamen hederifolium which is a tough little critter and although it is dormant from May to August gives nine months of cover that starts with pretty flowers and then beautiful leaves in winter.

    • Having selections that offer (nearly) year round interest and good coverage is ideal! I love the foliage of the Pachysandra – so beautiful! And the cyclamen sounds like such a good choice…a whole mass of those flowers would be amazing to see.

    • I’m pretty pleased with the bugleweed as well – it would be easy to “steer” it in the right direction if need be, anyway.

      LOL thanks for the bit about the weeding…it’s the gardener’s old complaint, you just get finished weeding and there are more growing up behind you. I can’t win the war with the grass so sometimes I just let it be. Easier for my peace of mind. 🙂

  5. This is one of my favourites too Sheryl and we have loads of it. I also love Vinca (periwinkle) as ground cover in shady spots, and Thyme in the sun. A definite no for me is ivy, although it tends to creep in to my garden overnight!

  6. I will admit I planted bugleweed as well – chocolate chip in my case, though I now wish I had chosen Black Scallop. Mine is definitely encroaching into the lawn but I don’t much care. If it can compete with the other weeds taking over my lawn so much the better.

  7. I have never seen ground cover like yours but it is sure pretty. The only ground cover I have is vinca minor I like the pretty little purple flowers it has. Hugs

  8. What a great post, with lots of comments / suggestions. I’ve got a lot of Vinca (currently being overrun with poison ivy – ugh) and a new addition is Lamium. It’s growing beautifully in a really shady spot.

  9. I had lily of the valley planted in the shade at the lake. So gorgeous in the spring, they fade quickly and then the spot looked a bit untidy while I let them die back. It was worth it for a couple of weeks of their beautiful fragrance though. I also used Arctic Phlox liberally. My shade got morning sun and sweet woodruff did well too. I also loved that scent

    • Arctic phlox is a great one I hadn’t thought of! Love that idea. I’m really fond of sweet woodruff as well, but don’t have a shady spot to put them in. I just adore the foliage, so gorgeous. And I agree, it’s such a big plus to have plants with fragrance!

  10. Beautiful. I planted some ajuga last fall and it had a few blooms this spring. It has spread, and is doing well. It is in a shaded area and will make a nice filler around things. I have another plant in the sunny areas that I like for low ground cover…. the name escapes me right now….. it’s a type of germander. It has been out there less than a year and is proving to be good in the sun and drought tolerant. I haven’t seen any flowers on it and I can’t remember the variety. it is one I need to make a not of so I can either get more or try to start some cuttings.

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