Ajuga flourishes in these parts, once it's taken hold. We discovered a little bit sprinkled at the edge of the woods behind the house when we moved here; the plants flowered deep purple, and our friend Kitty gave us a few pips of white-flowering ajuga from her garden to mix in with the others, though the two colors never really got along.
An aggressive ground cover, ajuga doesn't come from here. Like my husband Ted and me, ajuga is a transplant. The first few pips must have arrived via the former owners, but the plants languished for years behind the house until very recently. We don't know what we've done to stir them up.
Two Mays ago, we noticed that the purple ajuga was on the march, here and there in the vicinity of the back porch. The boulder you see to the left in the top photo is actually the size of a Volkswagon, hulking like an iceberg mostly below the surface, so it's a wonder anything grows around that impediment. The house faces south; the area near the back porch is on the dark side. The grass is sparse, the soil mostly clay, and only the hardiest of plants survive.
This year, four crop circles of ajuga emerged in early Spring: three perfect rounds, two or three feet in diameter, and one giant purple Pac-Man.
The ajuga is organizing, under whose command we don't know. The objective is clear.
Total yard domination.