Catmints add a lovely, soft, floppy, gentle touch to cottage gardens. Nepeta gigantea ‘Six Hills Giant’ has grey-green foliage, which is covered all summer in masses of short spikes of lavender-like flowers which attract lots of bees. Once established, the plant is fairly drought-tolerant. The foliage is very aromatic and, when crushed or bruised, releases a strong lemony scent, hence the popularity of the plant for edging paths. It’s used as a caterpillar foodplant for the pretty mint moth, Pyrausta aurata.
Light, well-drained soil is the key to success. After the first burst of flowers, shear over the growth to get a second crop of leaves and flowers. Other catmints are available in pale and darker blues. Like many catmints, ‘Six Hills Giant’ may prove appealing to cats, though if they eat an excessive amount of the foliage it can give them an upset stomach.
Grow Nepeta gigantea ‘Six Hills Giant’ in well-drained soil in full sun. Lift and divide congested clumps in spring.