As a follow on from the last post, so long ago, it is official that one of my personal favorites for beauty and utility is:
Nepeta x faassenii “Walkers Low”, “Six Hill Giant”
Because it is now apparent that the wet summer has killed most of my lavender. It can’t be denied that Lavender is a wonderful plant and thus I keep coming back to it. I ignore all the signs that in fact, unless you are lucky, lavender is not a great plant for Ireland. If you are going to give it a go, try and make sure there is a good bit of grit under the plant for free drainage. But don’t be too hard on yourself if a year or two later they are leggy and woody and ugly. It’s the weather. It’s not you. And if you happen to have a successful lavender in the garden, it’s not you either, but sheer providence.
So, back to Nepeta. It is a great substitute for lavender. The ONLY downfall is that it does not have the same winter/evergreen presence that lavender does. The upsides are that it is scented, blooms from June to October, is lovely and full, bees love it (so do cats so plan accordingly, they may like to roll on it and crush it), it is fairly robust (only one of my clients has killed it and he could kill anything), and most importantly it doesn’t mind damp conditions but is also drought tolerant!
By the book: sun-part shade, well-drained soil of most pH
Where to find them: The average Garden Centre should have them come May