I stepped out into my London garden (that description should surely sum up my a) lack of vast space b) lack of desire to truly be a gardener and c) total lack of understanding about how to truly create a herb garden) and couldn’t believe my eyes.
A wine bottle lay strewn on the decking.
‘Where the hell did that come from?’ I baulked.
‘You don’t remember do you?’ says my helpful Sis.
‘It’s definitely not one of mine,’ I start sniggering, ‘Must be one of the foxes.’
Now I know my neighbours are partial to the odd barbecue but they are certainly not, at least when I last looked, the kind of people who would just throw an empty bottle over the fence. We live in W4 fer chrissake. I’m a London veteran and have often found all manner of detritus in my garden the morning after the night before (not necessarily my own night before I might add) which has included empty bottles, empty people and empty all sorts, thankfully that’s a lifetime ago.
‘Why is there a big chunk of soil missing from my herbs?’ I obviously haven’t been out here for days…
‘Oooh’ my Sister giggles, ‘Must be squirrels’
‘Nuts!’ I exclaim and reclaim my seat at the garden table. We continue our incessant and gossipy chatter, and while I’m totally ensconced, I can’t help to raise an eyebrow and another squeal.
‘They’ve had the lot!’
I point, I gesticulate, unable to verbiate, almost hyperventilating and trying hard not to giggle…some little evil imp has been at work! I’m more than perturbed or flummoxed, I just wish I could find the darned little crittur that had created this chaos. Why would any garden creature dig up my herbs in such a fashion?
Now, there are more than a couple of things at play here.
Cats fights in my garden.
Cat fights in my garden a lot.
And cats fight in my garden so much that I have to scare them off with a hiss and a batter on a saucepan.
So that’s one thing I have to work on.
Plus, there’s been a visit to my local ’boutique’ garden centre.
‘What’s in the pot?’ asks my Sis.
‘Oh some fancy thing. Some herb…Catnip?’
Oh yay, cue the laughter, the ‘Oh my god, you didn’t know!!’
I had come home with a very obscure mint. And yes, it’s Cat-fricking-nip. As quoted from Wikipedia ‘The members of this group are known as catnip or catmint because of their famous effect on cats—nepeta pleasantly stimulates cats’ pheromonic receptors, typically resulting in temporary euphoria.’
Needless to say, I’m now fully aware of the effects of catnip and a bottle of redwine on the feline neighbourhood. I seem to be the venue for the local neighbourhood cat-kool-aid-acid-test.
Maybe it’s time to investigate other herbs which may have a calming, medicinal effect on these hedonistic domestic animals…any ideas welcome x