Trees & Shrubs
Fruit, Vegetables & Herbs
Blog by: Sabine Ehlers, CMG
Source: Friends of UT Gardens Organization
Perennials, Annuals & Bulbs
At this month’s meeting of our local Master Gardener Association, we were fortunate to have George Bennett, proprietor of Bennett’s Nursery in Huntsville, Alabama, as our guest speaker. Mr. Bennett kindly shared some of his extensive knowledge of gardening, landscaping, and plants with our members; telling some great stories and also taking questions during his presentation.
Of the many plants reviewed, it caught my attention when Mr. Bennett shared his personal experience with Catmint (Nepeta)
as an effective deer repellent. In one of his large landscape beds that featured many roses and other plants that were often “grazed to the ground” by deer, Mr. Bennett reported that the deer no longer visited that area after he established the Catmint at various locations in the planting. The University of Vermont Extension reports similar findings… “Deer rely on their fine sense of smell as an early warning system of approaching danger. Mess
with this, using aromatic plants, and deer tend to stay clear. Some such fragrant plants that generally deter deer include catmint, chives, lavender, mint, sage, and thyme. Some gardeners plant these among more favored deer plants.”
Catmint is a perennial herb that is hardy in zones 3 through 8. Nepeta X faassenii is a hybrid variety with sterile flowers, so it will not self-sow and invade garden spaces. Several cultivars are available, ranging in heights from 1 to 6 feet. Mr. Bennett grows Catmint ‘Walkers Low’, which typically reaches 2 to 3 feet tall and blooms with small “lavender purple” flowers in mid-summer. This plant was named the 2007 Perennial of the Year by the Perennial Plant Association.
If you’ve been looking for a way to deter or repel deer from some of your prized garden or landscape areas, Catmint might be your herbal remedy.
blog entry by Mark Murphy, CMG
Photo courtesy of Colorado State University.
sources: Choosing Deer-resistant Landscape Plants, Dr. Leonard Perry, Extension Professor, University of Vermont. Catmint, National Gardening Association plant care guides. Catmint ‘Walker’s Low’ Named 2007 Perennial of the Year, Purdue University Yard & Garden News.
Herbs have been an important part of our history and are still to this day as important for their culinary and medicinal uses as well as their application in fragrances, dyes, repellants, or cosmetics. Herbs grown in the home garden can be used fresh or can be dried and stored for later use.
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