Friday, August 01, 2008

catnip gone wild

Behind that beautiful bee balm, which was invited and welcomed into my rock garden, are the biggest catnip plants I have ever seen. I did not plant them. I thought I had carefully cut the flower heads from the catnip I did plant last year so it wouldn't re-seed, but I have learned my lesson: If you must plant catnip, do so in containers, the further away from your garden the better.

By the way, that tall thing behind the catnip is stinging nettle, which has somehow managed to take over part of my garden. Amazingly I've seen it in seed catalogs. Why would anyone deliberately plant something that will cause immediate agony if it is brushed against? I know, the new greens are tasty and loaded with nutrients when cooked, and some folks swear by the tea made from dried leaves as a "tonic". I even make a "stinking nettle tea" that works wonders in the garden. But when it gets to this stage, I need full body armor to deal with it.

I removed the catnip today to make more room for the bee balm and various herbs on the other side of it, and to try and keep it from re-seeding next year. I did harvest catnip leaves until I had a bowl full, to dry for cat treats and a calming tea. I tossed a few of the leaves to the usual bunch of cats hanging around, and they were indifferent. Perhaps they are unaware of the street value of my harvest to all the true catnip junkies out there.

future catnip junkie

8 comments:

Rick said...

Some cats respond to catnip and some do not so maybe you have one that is Ho Hum about catnip--just a thought.

Jayne said...

Ouch! Stinging nettle is not a great thing to have to manage. Good luck and be careful out there Deb. :c)

pablo said...

I've wondered if catnip would attract bobcats. Maybe not, though I've heard otherwise. I even baited my game camera with it once to see if it would attract any wild cats, but it didn't.

RuthieJ said...

Hi Deb,
I have some similar ginormous catnip and stinging nettles out in my backyard. I don't think I've ever seen it quite as tall as this year!

Lynne said...

I'm going to have to google stinging nettle- I don't know what it looks like and I sure don't want it around.

CUTE kitty!

denise said...

Deb, I'm Cat-Whisperer. Did you know that?!?!?!

Deb said...

Rick- I must have the non-responsive type. Darn it, they are so fun to watch when they do respond!

Pablo- Interesting; I had never thought of that. I haven't heard any bobcats in my catnip patch, although maybe they're just sneaky...

Ruthie- Usually the stinging nettle grows in the spring, then stops appearing in new places. This year it's everywhere!

Lynne- it likes wet areas, although that would not explain it being in my garden. I'll bet there is some growing in grassy areas by the brook. Watch out!

Denise- :-) Actually I let Starflower set up an I Can Has Cheezburger account with my email, and she found out how to search my Gmail for other members, and there you were! We are now addicted to ICHC.

Round 2 of seeds from The Lupine are safe in a container in the cook shed, and I promise not to lose them this time. :)

denise said...

Ahhhhhh....I THOUGHT it was a little odd for a plain coincidence! I am impressed with Starflower's computer skills.They are undoubdtedly superior to mine.
Looking forward to the lupines!