Sunday, 14 August 2016

Drug Dealing ...

Washburn is a complete Nep head.  

Some years ago, we planted some tiny Catnip plants in the garden, around the Pampas.  There were two varieties, can't remember the names off the top of my head.  Wash loved them. 

Over the years the chooks have trodden these plants down to nothing, or near nothing. Wash still rolls on the spot where one of them is/was. His nemesis (the black and white cat that comes in the garden to fight him) also likes to roll around on that spot.

Isobel, meanwhile,  loves the dried stuff but isn't really interested in it fresh.

I felt sorry for Wash that the plants had dwindled to the point where we couldn't see them at all.  I decided to buy some new plants - plants, not seeds - and I eventually I found a seller on Ebay offering little plug plants of  Nepeta Cataria, a variety we hadn't had before. (The seller was plugsbypost, in case you are interested)

The little plugs arrived quickly, and we potted them up.   They thrived. 

When they were strong enoughm I squished a leaf and let Wash sniff my fingers.  He went beserk, desperate for me to stroke him.  I crushed a leaf in each palm, and rubbed his face and back, and then let him eat the leaf.  He really did go doo lally, chasing shadows in the garden. He also had a good wash and his fur became very silky.

Since then, he mugs me whenever I go near the plants, which are on a raised table outside.   He made me jump yesterday, appeared from no where, looking (I thought) rather furtive.  

At one point the plants looked distinctly flattened. I suspected a cat had been lying on it.  I don't think it was Wash, he was still asking for me to give him some each time, so obviously hadn't tried the self service option.

We rescued it, I took a cople of cuttings and attempted to get those to root... they aren't dead yet, so maybe it's worked.  I also decided to try drying some.  I picked loads of leaves, and laid them out in the dehydrator.  It took some time - even with the dry weather - and eventually I had a tuny pot of leaves.   I crumbled some into a scratching thing Izzy uses, and I was interested to see if she would use it.

She most certainly did.  A lot.  I've had to refill it.

I've just finished drying a second load, and I'll probably do a few more through the summer while the plants are growing.

It's definitely a bedder grade product than the dried stuff that I've bought before.  

Wash, meantime, salivates almost uncontrollably whenever he gets a whiff of the fresh stuff. I have to limit his supply.

I feel like a drug dealer. 

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