Monday, January 08, 2007

Perennial of the Year! taa daa - Catmint, huh?

Yuck, apparently the Perennial Plant Association named the Walker's Low Nepeta as plant of the year Nepeta x faassenii. Catmint is in the same family as catnip (Nepeta cataria) but cats don't seem to be affected by it in the same way. I'm leery of planting any kind of mint as I'm still pulling out runners of spearmint after 3 years. I know, I know, mints are Mentha and catmints are Nepeta but they seem to have the same unruly habit. One of the descriptions of catmint mentioned that "...has a tendency to overpower less robust plants...", an understatement if ever I saw one. "...vigorous herbaceous species make good single species ground covers..." should be enough of a warning.

Aren't we in a surly mood this morning.

Here's what some of the good people on the GardenWeb forums are saying about Walker's low Nepeta. There's a photo of it on the White Flower Farm website.

One easy way of identifying mint - feel the stem, if it is square it's a mint.


Blogger Jenn said...

"Aren't we in a surly mood this morning."

Hey, you made ME laugh!

9:06 AM  
Blogger Blackswamp_Girl said...

Yeah, I kind of shook my head there. It's kind of pretty in the garden catalogs, but... but... but...

I guess I just want something with a little more "wow" for "Perennial of the Year."

2:49 PM  
Blogger Ki said...

Hi Jenn, Glad it gave you a chuckle. I never seem to know when I'm funny. Gave an absurd talk once in speech class and my classmates would laugh at odd times when I wasn't being funny or at least I thought so. I must have a screw loose.

Kim, There are so many more interesting perennials it's more than a little baffling that they chose it for perennial of the year. Probably more for ease of propagating and being able to get great numbers on the market easily than really trying to introduce an interesting plant imo.

4:35 AM  
Blogger Annie in Austin said...

Catmint as perennial of the year? Isn't that like handing the bouquet to the non-speaking bit player instead of the star?? I mean, it's okay... I've grown it myself when still in IL. I found it useful to tie together perennials whose flowers look well together but whose foliage is not so compatible. Oh, well.

Ki, you asked about the dead birds in Austin, but there's little information - labs are still testing & have ruled out bird flu. The most likely thing is some amateur poisoning, since most were Boat-tailed grackles. Here are a couple of links for Austin news, in case you want to check later:

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

2:16 PM  
Blogger Ki said...

Hi Annie,
Thanks for the links about dead birds in Austin. Funny that the austin.metblogs linked to Yahoo news. The person writing austin.metblogs apparently didn't know of the die off living only a couple of blocks from downtown where it happened. Couldn't find news about the birds on the kxan site, I guess it's old news already.

5:04 AM  

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