Friday, January 13, 2006

Cat Garden

Kitties and gardens are a lovely pairing (except when they use your soil as the litterbox). I adore being surrounded by my wee furry beasties as I putter amongst the flowers. The cats enjoy the garden as well. Tibbs attacks gladiolas, Zoro bats bulbs, and all the kitties love to hide in the “underbrush.” Last year, I grew catnip for them in a pot and this year I plan on edging my rose bed in catmint. If I was truly devoted, though, I suppose I would plant an entire garden devoted to my feline friends, like the garden at TLC, a cat shelter in Ann Arbor, MI.

For all of you cat-loving gardeners, I’ve borrowed this list of kitty-friendly plants from the TLC website:

Cat Garden Plants (hardy to zone 5 and requiring full sun, unless otherwise noted)

  • Alyssum (lobularia alyssum or lobularia maritima "Easter bonnet mix lavender")
  • Baby's breath (gypsophila paniculata "pink" and "Bristol fairy")
  • Barley grass, organic (hordeum vulgare)
  • Blue fescue grass (festuca glauca)
  • Calamint or lesser catmint (calamintha nepeta)
  • Cast iron plant (aspidistra elatior) - zone 8 tropical plant; houseplant only or bring indoors in winter.
  • Cat mint (nepeta x faassenii "Walker's Low")
  • Cat nip (nepeta cataria)
  • Cat thyme (teucrium marum)
  • Creeping (trailing) rosemary Santa Barbara (rosmarinus officinalis lavandulaceous).
  • Creeping thyme, red (thymus serpyllum coccineus)
  • Flax (linum usitatissimum)
  • Heather (calluna vulgaris "Kerstin").
  • Jacob's ladder (polemonium caeruleum) - needs shade
  • Lamb's ears (stachys byzantina; one "Helen Von Stein" two "silver carpet")
  • Lemon grass (cymbopogon citratus) - zone 7; bring indoors in winter.
  • Liriope (liriope muscari) - zone 6; will need protected area or bring indoors in winter.
  • Miscanthis grass (miscanthus sinensis)
  • Pennyroyal (mentha pulegium) - is a mint, will spread.
  • Purple fountain grass (pennisetum setaceum)
  • Organic wheat, oat, and rye grass (agropyron, avena, and lolium respectively)
  • Silver vine (actinidia polygama)
  • Striped ribbon grass (phalaris arundinacea), can be invasive
  • Sweetgrass (hierochloe odorata)
  • Tufted sedge (carex elata "Bolwes golden"), needs shade
  • Valerian (valeriana officianalis)

More on TLC’s cat garden.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

what is the whole zone thing? I see it on other blogs..member of zone7....blah blah...what does that mean?

11:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


You might want to try growing cat mint, my cats have always loved to roll in it and it springs right back. It doesn't make them as wild as the nip does and it is a beautiful soft grey color with lavender flowers. I also love my furry friends in the garden with me, they think all is right in the world if I head out to the garden with gloves in hand.


11:57 AM  
Blogger Dianne said...

I was wondering if you grew a certain kind of catnip or cat mint? My Cosmo boy turns his nose up at the mint. I even thought to try it dried and he looked at me 'as if'. ; )

8:35 PM  
Blogger Kasmira said...

Dianne -

This will be my first year growing catmint. I'm growing it from seed. I don't think it is any particular variety. I assume the kitties will like it, but who knows.

Some cats don't even respond to catnip (my childhood cat Amy). Does Cosmo like catnip?

7:05 AM  
Blogger The Garden Faerie said...

Hi! I'm the master gardener who designed the TLC cat garden. If your cats don't like catmint or catnip, try the lesser catmint (Calamintha nepeta); it smells sweeter and less overwhlemingly minty, but still refreshing. Or try creeping thyme. Or anything else on the list. Cats all all individuals and will like different things! It was easy at TLC because my "target audience" of 20 or so cats meant someone liked some of everything I planted.
~ Monica

10:05 AM  
Anonymous Lorelle said...

You have listed Liriope amongst your cat friendly plants, but other sites I have looked at state that this plant is a member of the Lily family and therefore poisonous to cats. Do you have any further information on this as I have recently purchased this plant and found that my cat loves chewing on the leaves.

11:15 PM  
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