I have been asked why I identify myself as catmint. Well – there are a few reasons I chose this plant out of all the others in my garden.
Firstly, I love the name. It has a rhythm I find pleasing, and I like the fact that it includes an animal name as well as a plant name. Dogwood would have been a more logical choice because I do prefer dogs to cats, but I went with catmint.
Secondly, I cannot praise the charms of this plant enough. It’s one of the most generous, trouble-free, undemanding inhabitants of my garden. It doesn’t mind if it’s in shade or sun, it still grows and flowers. It absolutely thrives on whatever water comes from the sky once it is established which usually takes about 5 minutes.
It’s a perennial - it does die back in winter and likes a haircut. I have seen it with white coloured flowers but I only have the mauvey-blue shade. It comes in different sizes too – some lower, some taller. It works as a filler or for edging, and associates beautifully with lots of cottagey plants.
It doesn’t need persuading to grow, rather it requires cutting back and dividing and moving around – that’s what I meant when I called it generous. Its botanical name is Nepeta and it is sometimes called Catnip. It has a distinctive slightly pungent smell, which I love, and soft greyish leaves.