Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Fall Plant Sale Preview: Nepeta 'Cat's Meow'

Nepeta 'Cat's Meow'. Photo courtesy of Walters Gardens.
By Katherine Hale

The finest gardens offer more than eye candy—they engage us on multiple levels by offering a feast for all of our senses. With its sweet scent and distinctly textured leaves, ‘Cat’s Meow’ ornamental catmint perfectly fits the bill, packing a strong visual punch unmatched by any other perennial on the market. Honeybees, butterflies and hummingbirds—not to mention your cat and any human visitors—will agree.

Despite the gorgeous blue-purple flowers, this catmint is no shrinking violet. Deer prefer to avoid it, and with decent drainage it’s remarkably disease-resistant. More upright than other varieties of catmint, ‘Cat’s Meow’ stands tall where its competitors flop, and it requires no staking or pruning—though a tidy dead-heading now and then will promote another round of blooms. Vigorous and drought-tolerant once established, ‘Cat’s Meow’ loves heat, but it will also do well in areas with light afternoon shade. Because it’s a sterile hybrid, there’s no need to worry about errant seedlings volunteering where they aren’t wanted or taking over your perennial border.

The dense, compact shape and trouble-free requirements of ‘Cat’s Meow’ make it perfect for edging, containers, rocky patches, herb gardens or any place where a colorful touch is needed. Children will love the fuzzy, aromatic leaves, and its bright flowers liven up any floral  arrangement. Catmint is also a great choice to underplant with roses, as we do here at Duke Gardens, because it offers a delightful contrast that doesn’t interfere or compete with them for space and resources. Unless your backyard is densely shaded or a boggy swamp, you really can’t go wrong with it.

They say you can never have it all, but ‘Cat’s Meow’ catmint comes pretty darn close. Check out this and other amazing perennials at Duke Gardens’ Fall Plant Sale.

Date: Saturday, Sept. 29, 2018
Time: 9 a.m.-noon
Member benefits: Duke Gardens members get 10% off all purchases, plus access to the members-only previews sale from 8-9 a.m., and a full list of plants in advance! Join online or on site.
Parking: Free.
Pets not permitted. Please see Duke Gardens' pets policy here.
Wagons + boxes: Our supply is limited; please bring your own if possible, and you'll have more time to spend gathering beautiful plants.
Your support helps Duke Gardens to provide summer internships to aspiring horticulturists from across the nation.
Please see our event page for more information, and we'd love for you to spread the word by sharing the event on Facebook and inviting your friends.
Thank you!

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