The Tale of the Cat and the Catnip

On Thursday, I was watching Smitty grazing on the catnip outside, and I was wondering why Maggie, the catnip fiend, doesn't care for the fresh catnip.

As I watched Smitty, something dawned on me. Last year, I planted "catmint" along with a new crop of catnip. When I purchased the catmint last year, the tag that came with it claimed that it was a cousin of catnip and that cats loved it. Well, this is what I have to say about that: Lying Liars! The cats wouldn't touch it, always favoring the actual catnip. C'est la vie, as I always say. (Actually, I never say that, but I did take two years of French in high school. That's gotta count for something, right?)

So anyway...fast forward to Thursday and I realized that something was amiss in the Gracie Memorial Catnip Garden. Take a look at this image...look very closely:

The leaves on the left of the image are smaller, and a little more blue in color than the leaves on the right. Also, look below, and you'll see that the more blue of the two plants is the only one blooming.

So I rubbed the different leaves between my fingers and sniffed. Sure enough, the more bluish blooming plant had a distinctive mint fragrance, while the more green of the two smelled more like, um, in our legal state, we might say this has a fragrance similar to the proverbial "weed". Not that I have any knowledge of weed, you understand, but so I've been told.

And then I was kind of like..."Holy sh*t! Mint!!!" And I bent down and pulled that sucker up by its roots. I don't want mint taking over the Gracie Memorial Catnip Garden. Pulling it up by its roots required a shovel because it had already put down roots to China and was threatening to take over the world...or, at the very least, the house. Yesterday while I was at the grocery store, I sought out and found a genuine catnip plant and replaced it where the dastardly mint had been. This required some deconstruction of the anti-cat-rolling rock wall and subsequent reconstruction.

Hopefully, all is right with the world now. It would appear as such. And I promised you a cat tale, so here you go. Two for the price of one.

With that finished, I fed the birds, watered the annual pots, and then took a walk around the garden. The purple iris are blooming now.

And the orange.

And more of the blue variegated variety.

These white ones closer up to the house get more shade, and their petals are the most delicate lavender color.

In the greenhouse, two more of the colored echinacea plants have sprouted now. I'm so excited for these to grow. They're slow getting started, and so it might be a while before they're ready to be planted in the ground.

And look at this luscious lettuce! A couple more days, and then we'll be able to start picking leaves from it.

The tomatoes are looking good in their new pots.

And this one is getting its first flowers!

Today I'm making a prime rib dinner for seven people. Mae's mother is visiting from Georgia, and she'll be joining us for dinner. It's a nice Mother's Day celebration, even though it's actually Mike's birthday and his birthday dinner. I still need to finish the topping on the cheesecake. The vegetable dish is finished. Today won't be too much effort. I need to make some cocktail sauce for a shrimp cocktail appetizer I'm putting out, and then it's just putting the roast in the oven and making some mashed potatoes. Mae is bringing a salad, and Matthew and Valerie are bringing another appetizer. I should have some time to work on the Adirondack chairs today. There was no time for sewing yesterday, and so I'm itching to get back to it.

I promised you some pictures of quilts from the Northwest Quilters quilt show, and so I'll show a few each day until I've shown them all to you. I'll start by saying that each quilt is preceded by its tag noting the quiltmaker and the story behind the quilt. If you pin these, I'd appreciate it if you would include the name of the quiltmaker. You science types should get a kick out of this first one:

This quiltmaker had quite a few quilts in the show. She's obviously a prolific quilter.

Pretty quilting on this one, and having just done some snowflakes myself, I appreciated the effort involved.

I love this next one.

Since I'm planning to quilt the Yard Art quilt this month, I was drawn to this flamingo quilt. There were some other of these Hawaiian fabric challenge quilts in the show, and you'll see them on subsequent days.

I'll have more for you tomorrow. For now, I need to get on with my day. Happy Mother's Day weekend to all mothers and quilters with mothers...that includes pretty much everyone, I'm thinking.

12 comments from clever and witty friends:

quiltzyx said...

I'll bet Smitty is glad you got rid of the evil "catmint" out of the Gracie Memorial garden!
The irises are lovely. We've had a little more rain, so mine should get some more blooms now. They are about the color of the ones you said are in the shade. They used to be darker, but got lighter as the drought's gone on.
What fun quilts!! I think it would be so fun to take that class from Cheryl Sleboda. Thanks for sharing...and saving my feet & knees at the show!

liniecat said...

Mint can be a trifle overwhelming true lol
Do you cut and dry your catnip?

CathieJ said...

I love your beautiful flowers. Your tomato plants are looking great. I haven't even bought any flowers or vegetables for my garden this year. Love the cat tale(s)

Elaine Walker said...

Glad you realized the problem with the catnip/mint. Lol. I just want to tell you how much I enjoy your blog posts. I love the quilting parts, the beautiful " Blooming" photos and especially the cat posts. I look forward to all your posts. Thank you!

QuiltShopGal said...

I didn't know about Catmint. Thanks for the warning. Great post. I love your two cat tales. You quack me up!


gpc said...

I've never seen catnip in our local nurseries, only the cat mint. Thank goodness I never fell for the dastardly lies. I buy the dried stuff to make toys for my daughter's kitty.

WoolenSails said...

I saw catmint in the shop today and was wondering about it. My cats are crazy enough, catnip is asking for trouble, lol. Your gardens are doing beautifully, looks like lots of fresh veggies soon.


Dana Gaffney said...

Happy Mother's Day. It will be interesting to see if Maggie indulges in the fresh catnip now, if she does you know that mint is a Maggie repellent. Of course you know what weed smells like, you went to college, isn't that where we all learned what it smells like?

Brown Family said...

I planted Mint in our bask yard when I was a kid. We never got rid of it! I hope you have better luck! I am waiting for my tomatoes to get ripe! I really like this bunch of quilts, especially the snowflake one

SonJa said...

In reference to your "catnip" plant problem...im not sure it is mint as in a traditional mint that is growing mixed in there...i think it is a plant known as Walkers Low....it is a plant that resembles catnip quite a bit, but with smaller leaves. Its actually a great plant! It grows quickly but stays confined to a tidy mound, not a rampant runner like typical mint plants. Its a lovely plant to have around.

Pam's Applique Paintbox said...

You could call your cat tale "The Tails of Two Kitties".

Kate said...

Very fun quilts. I really like the If We Only Knew What We Were Doing. Sounds like you had a very nice Mother's Day. Happy Belated birthday to Mike.