I’ve written so many articles about birds, an untrained eye might think this was a wildlife website. However, as we know, birds so heavily rely on plants for food and shelter that it would be impossible to untwine the two topics. What I haven’t written much on, on the other hand, is plants that look like birds – and Ajuga Feathered Friends™ is right near the top of my list, if not for its tufty, feathered appearance, then for its fantastically named varieties. Read on to find out what they are!
How to grow Ajuga Feathered Friends™
Flowering time: Spring-summer
Location: Pots, shady borders, ground cover
Soil: Any well-draining soil
Light: Great for shady areas and woodland gardens
Water: Water regularly in the growing season, and more if placed in a sunny area
Care: Can be mowed after flowering to get rid of spent blooms and tidy the foliage
Size: 10cm height x 45cm spread
What’s different about this plant?
This is a new series of hardy Ajuga – or ‘carpet bugle’ – with a range of colours that will stand out amongst any planting design! The fabulous foliage is evergreen, so will deliver vivid colour all year round. Plus, you’ve got those abundant, contrasting blooms that appear throughout the spring and summer, bringing joy to you as well as pollinating insects.
The Ajuga Feathered Friends™ series currently comprises:
How was this plant created?
Ajuga Feathered Friends™ was developed in Michigan by the grower behind Chick Charms, Chris Hansen. Hansen and team are big fans of hardy groundcovers. They loved the little leaves of Ajuga ‘Chocolate Chip’ and the larger leaf ‘Black Scallop’, and knew that these top-sellers would be popular with a wide range of people. Using traditional breeding methods, they created hundreds of seedlings. After four years of breeding and lots of trialling and evaluation, they launched with seven brand new varieties.
The Feathered Friends brand name came from a huge brainstorming session with the whole team. They went through many different ideas and concepts before arriving at Feathered Friends. The ‘feathers’ are the colourful foliage that lays just like bird feathers, and ‘friends’ because they play so well with others plants in the garden. They are fantastic companion/friend plants for almost every garden perennial.
The names of all the different varieties were also created by the crew. All of the little leaf varieties have the names of smaller birds, and the large leaf varieties have large bird names.
I’ve also been told that there will be more Feathered Friends flying into our gardens very soon!
Where can you plant Ajuga Feathered Friends™?
Ajuga Feathered Friends™ can be kept in pots where they can be well controlled. They also work beautifully in shady borders, on slopes and banks, and in rockeries as long as they are kept moist. Plant them in those pesky areas beneath trees where grass struggles to grow and weeds may be profuse, as Ajuga will naturally suppress the weeds, leaving you with a much more pleasant carpet of vibrant foliage and spring and summer flowers.
Where can you buy Ajuga Feathered Friends™?
You can buy Ajuga Feathered Friends in the UK at Cowell’s Garden Centre, Suttons and Thompson & Morgan.
Plant of the Month is sponsored by Plantipp, a company based in The Netherlands who handle the introduction of new plants into Europe.
See every Plant of the Month here.
Images courtesy of Plantipp.