A little sincerity is a dangerous thing, and a great deal of it is absolutely fatal. -Oscar Wilde

Thursday, April 2, 2009

les pyjamas du chat

that's not catnip

I was thinking about the cats. There are five that live at the parents' (home to the garden, since I lost almost all of my fire escape real estate in the move and still can't get into the Homewood garden despite waiting over two years and watching some of the plots go sadly neglected). They provide, shall we say, integrated organic pest management. That is to say, they eat the chipmunks, crows, rabbits, et al before they eat the garden. So to thank the felines for their effective (if mercenary) methods, why not a cat garden? If not actually IN the garden, then adjacent?

So I'm thinking of cat plants. There's obviously catnip and catmint, but also cat thyme, valerian, and pennyroyal. There's also wheat, oat, rye, and barley grasses. A little searching yielded this list

* Alyssum (lobularia alyssum or lobularia maritima).
* Baby's breath (gypsophila paniculata).
* Blue fescue grass (festuca glauca).
* Calamint or lesser catmint (calamintha nepeta).
* Cat mint (nepeta x faassenii). (Note: Now known as nepeta racemosa.)
* Cat nip (nepeta cataria).
* Cat thyme (teucrium marum) (Note: Not a true thyme).
* Creeping (trailing) rosemary Santa Barbara (rosmarinus officinalis lavandulaceous).
* Creeping thyme, red (thymus serpyllum coccineus).
* Heather (calluna vulgaris).
* Lamb's ears (stachys byzantina).
* Organic wheat, oat, and rye grass (agropyron, avena, and lolium respectively).
* Valerian (valeriana officianalis). (Note: may attract rodents, esp. rats, but not a problem when planted with lots of repellent catnip and if the cats are good hunters).
* Barley grass, organic (hordeum vulgare)
* Flax (linum usitatissimum)
* Jacob's ladder (polemonium caeruleum), needs shade.
* Lemon grass (cymbopogon citratus), zone 7; bring indoors in winter.
* Liriope (liriope muscari), zone 6; will need protected area or bring indoors in winter.
* Miscanthis grass (miscanthus sinensis)
* Pennyroyal (mentha pulegium), is a mint, will spread.
* Purple fountain grass (pennisetum setaceum)
* Silver vine (actinidia polygama)
* Striped ribbon grass (phalaris arundinacea), can be invasive.
* Sweetgrass (hierochloe odorata)
* Tufted sedge (carex elata), needs shade.

In other news, magnolias all over the city exploded today.



magnolia blossom

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