I use Bugle (Ajuga repants) ‘Braunherz’ and ‘Black Scollop’ as an edging plant in one of my flowerbeds, something that a lot of people wonder over how it works. Well, this is how I think and do.
Bugle is a ground covering plant in the way it grows and does of course spread out. That is its advantage and good to be aware of. However it spreads out with primarily superficial roots (like a lot ground covering plants often do), this makes it easy to limit the growth by tearing away those that have reached too far.
The reason why I started to use Bugle as an edge plant was to flesh out to the edge when the flowerbed was still new. The idea was that it would be a temporary solution until the flowerbed had grown together a bit but I liked it so it got to stay.
- Quick growth and vigour, which means it fleshes out well and you can get many new plants from it = an economical plant to have and use.
- It blooms in a beautiful blue-purple and the flowers are loved by bees.
- It is an evergreen or semi evergreen and is therefore also suitable to have in pots during autumn and spring.
- If you don’t cut off the seedpods it will very easily self-seed. I cut the flowers off as soon as I see them since the colour does not match and to avoid self-seeding.
- As a ground covering plant it spreads and needs tending to if it is to be used as an edge plant in a flowerbed the way I do.
- In the spring I pluck away the winter withered foliage that stayed on from the previous season. I don’t remove everything, but a lot to give it a good start for new foliage to grow.
- The flowers are cut straight away, it is important to do it before they go to seed.
- In the early summer when it has properly started growing I tear off the ones that have gone too far into the flowerbed. At the front I simply cut off whatever hangs over the edge and are at risk to carry on to the lawn. I see it as a kind of hedge- or edge trimming. After the early summers big growth it tends to settle and pretty much keep to the shape but if it is necessary I just do the same thing again (tear off inwards and cut the edge to the outside). I don’t do this more than these two times, it has never been necessary. It tends to take about 30 min each time to do.
‘Catilins Giant’ have bigger leaves and don’t spred as quickly as the Ajuga reptans.