Beloved by bees, nepeta blooms in the Bride’s Garden. When I picked a couple of stems to bring in to paint, I got halfway in the house before noticing I had a little bee aboard. Not so tiny as a mason bee, but barely half an inch long, a dozy slow-moving bee grasped the blossoms. Taking it back to the garden, I noticed another – much more vigorous, even on such a cold and rainy day – working one bloom after another.
Ann Lovejoy calls nepeta a “workhorse” perennial – a border stalwart. In the northeast quad of the courtyard garden between cherry and plum trees, a well-behaved nepeta (N. ‘dropmore’) blooms from the end of June well into fall – it doesn’t spread much or self-seed.
In the Bride’s Garden, a more robust – some might say too vigorous variety (N. Walker’s Low) blooms early and grows large in this second year.
On a sunny day, both beds buzz with bee business.