Monday, March 24, 2008

Boring but important: Nepeta

The humble nepeta, or Catmint, is a very common cottage garden plant in England but virtually unknown in central Italy. Which is a shame because it adapts well to dry conditions and survives cold winters. It comes in low and tall growing blue varieties and a less vigorous white. The narrow silvery green leaves are aromatic. As an edgng plant it is invaluable but it can also be mixed in with other silvery plants in the dry border. The tall flower spikes appear in early May and then the plan lies dormant during the hot summer months but will flower again in September if you cut it back. It can get a bit floppy so I prop it up with string if it is becoming a nuisance but best not to try to tame it more than necessary.

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