It is very hard to pick a favorite perennial when there are so many beauties to choose from. But year after year, I keep coming back to Nepeta.
Nepeta is one of those perennials that I am in awe of. The shape is delicate, sweet, and airy. In some light the blossoms look lavender, and sometimes they look blue.
It grows into a lovely large plant that can hold itself upright, which is important to me, since I have a low tolerance for flowers that flop over. Once established, it kindly reseeds itself around the garden, bringing even more delight.
It plays well with other perennials, and my favorite companion for nepeta is a rose in any shade of pink.
After its first flush of generous blooms, a good trim will induce it to bloom a second time. Thus giving you flowers a good part of the summer.
In my humble garden opinion, it is the quintessential perennial that no cottage garden should be without.
I follow a landscaper on Instagram who lives here locally in Columbus. He has his own nursery, grows his own plants, and works only on high end homes and gardens. He mentioned in an Instagram post that he is often asked what his favorite perennial is. I was very anxious to hear his response and was surprised when he said Calamintha nepeta ‘Montrose White’. Curious, I Googled it, and it looks lovely.
So I ordered seeds in February and planted them with high hopes of adding lots of plants to my garden. The seeds were miniscule and so were the plants that sprouted. The seedings were about the size of a sewing pin and they lingered on death’s doorstep for what seemed like weeks. I was nearly ready to give up on them, when they finally decided to grow and eventually thrive. I ended up with only eight plants, which I’m planting out in the garden this week. But it will be another full year before they flower. It will be a long time before I know if they will rival my beloved lavender nepeta for “my favorite perennial”.
If you could only pick one, what is your favorite perennial?