Last year, I planted a load of calamintha nepeta (basically a version of catmint with smaller leaves). I first saw it at Mottistone Gardens, where it was glorious – they had the blue cloud version and it was basically just that – a giant cloud of tiny blue flowers. Bees LOVED it too.
It’s surprisingly difficult to get hold of – I ended up ordering it online from Claire Austin (I bought both the blue and white cloud varieties and mixed them together). To begin with, they took their sweet time getting going but looked terrific this summer.
They smell slightly minty and attract bees and butterflies. Only thing is, now that it is Autumn, all the plants basically look like a load of dead sticks – I know that they are only meant to live for up to about three or four years so that may be it for the calamintha; rather a pity as I spent DAYS weeding that bed while it was getting going. Perhaps all the geraniums coming through have killed it off early.
If it has died off, I can’t decide what to put in its place. I can’t really face another batch of calamintha – I could put a load of lavender in the spot instead (this would fulfil my desire for lots of bees). I’ve also got a teucrium which is too big for the spot it’s currently in and perhaps could be moved – the problem is, teucrium isn’t fashionable so pretty much no one sells it these days. Therefore I am completely terrified that, if I move it, it will die and I won’t be able to replace it (I do find it very beautiful). Perhaps I’ll ask my gardener what he thinks I should do when he is back.