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Compact Catmint


I have quite a bit of catmint in my garden, but sadly I don't have a cat. I grow the catmint as a ground cover because it stifles weeds and is a great unifier of diverse plantings. Also although cats passing through my garden may enjoy it, the visiting deer probably won't!

As I read my catalogs this winter, I notice that there are more compact varieties of Nepeta (catmint) available nowadays.

One that caught my attention has the quite appropriate name, I thought, of ‘Cat's Meow'. It grows only 20 inches tall but 2 to 3 feet wide and is hardy in zones 3 through 8. In full sun, its grey-green leaves look attractive with its sky-blue flowers, produced on well-branched stems from early summer into fall. It looks tidy, with a neat round shape all season long.

Another well-behaved new variety of catmint is ‘Junior Walker', so named because a parent is that old favorite ‘Walker's Low'. Junior is only 18 inches tall, produces lavender-blue flowers and is non-reseeding like ‘Walker's Low', which actually is not low even though its name certainly gives that impression.

‘Junior Walker' has the added advantage of blooming from mid-May through September if grown in full sun in zones 5 through 9. Additionally, Junior does not need to be sheared back to stimulate repeat bloom, unlike its more elderly relatives.

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