I always keep my eye out for colourful shade bloomers, and bugleweed is well up to this definition! If you have a part shade, dampish spot that needs ground cover, with the delightful bonus of blue spring flowers, bugleweed is a wonderful option. Amongst the cultivars, glossy creeping foliage can range from purple-black, to deep green or burgundy, with pink, bronze or ruby highlights. My favourite varieties are ‘burgundy glow’, ‘giant’, ‘multicolour’ and the variegated ‘vanilla chip’. All varieties have little spires of blue-purple blooms in spring. Bugleweed will prosper in most conditions with good drainage. This perennial is actually a native European weed, and thus is can be an aggressive spreader, especially in its preferred moist soil, part shade conditions. However, I have spots of clay in my garden, and bugleweed can all but disappear over a season in this unfavoured soil. It serves well as an edge in a shade garden, or a patch of easy-care colour in a part shade rock garden.
Technical stuff – Bugleweed/ajuga, hardy perennial to zones 3, height of 4"-6”, spread of 18”+, full sun to shade preferring part shade, likes moist soil and good drainage (can be aggressive in happy conditions), blooms in spring.