Wednesday, April 8

Garden Pic Wednesday: Ajuga & Dutch Iris!

A couple weeks ago we were visiting our friends Bernie & Jacqui (pronounced Jackie) in Pensacola and she was proudly showing me her dirt filled seed-starter trays that had seedlings sprouting. She said she'd planted pole beans in them.
I looked over the collection of sprouts thoughtfully, but saw only one single bean. The other dozen sprouts clearly had the fan-shaped leaves of some kind of squash.
I pointed them out, saying, "This is a squash, this is a squash, this is a squash and this is a squash." Then I pointed at the only pole bean. "That is a pole bean."
"Are you sure?" Jacqui asked, her expression completely surprised that she had squash she hadn't planted.
"Yup," I replied. 
I pointed out a pole bean stem in another tray that had been eaten down to the dirt. "Snails or something have been eating your pole beans."
However--the reason Jacqui had uninvited squash sprouts is because she mixed compost from her compost pile with her garden soil in her seed trays---and voila`--last years discarded winter squash seeds became this years new seedlings!
If you compost--this is something you need to be aware of--a compost pile is a fantastic place for all those discarded pumpkin, winter squash & melon seeds to take root!

Today's Garden Pics are Dutch Iris & Ajuga!
First, the pretty Dutch Iris that bloomed back in mid-March.
These are in a pot where they have been fruitful and multiplied. I was disappointed none had a second blossom this year. I'll have to give them a good fertilizing in the fall this year.

Next: Ajuga, sometimes called Bugleweed.
This is a shade cover with low growing burgandy & green toned leaves and 2 to 4 inch blue flower stalks in spring. 

In spring it shoots out runners like Strawberries, but also spreads by root underground, so it can take over a location. Once established, it can also be a bear to get rid of, so you want to consider carefully where you plant Ajuga.
 It's coloring is prettiest in full shade, but it will grow just about any place, sun or shade. Since it can be mowed over, it can be a good solution for shady areas where grass won't grow in a lawn.
I do allow my Ajuga to spread into the grass. I wouldn't mind if it took over really. The stuff is tough, too; even weed & feed products barely faze it!
That's it for today! Stop back for Mama Kat tomorrow!

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