The Cat’s Meow

“The Cat’s Meow”, a copyrighted post, was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana

At Saturday’s garden show, another striking area was a small garden done all in white (my favorite garden color) and green.  It was so peaceful and serene.

The flowers in the back of the border are cat’s whiskers (Orthosiphon stamineus). When the blooms open, they have a long spike of flowers with stamens similar to a cat’s whiskers.  They grow about two feet high and three feet wide and made a great backdrop in this little garden.  Bees, butterflies, and hummingbird all are attracted to this plant.

Growing in front of the cat’s whiskers were white torenia.  Covered in white blossoms, these plants from a distance almost looked like pansies (which of course could not survive our hot summers).  Even this late in their growing season, they still looked good.  These plants stay rather low so they are perfect in front of the cat’s whiskers, covering up the base of the taller plant.

Along the side edges of this garden the variegated green and white plant made a nice final touch.

I am fond of a green and white garden, esp. in summer, and I thought this one was done very well.  After seeing how nice the cat’s whiskers did here, I may have to add some to the back of my garden beds as well next spring.

The idiom “cat’s meow”  means something outstanding, and this phrase certainly applies to this small, intimate garden in the New Orleans.


  1. Racquel said,

    October 21, 2008 at 6:44 am

    I love those Cat’s Whiskers. The first time I had ever seen them was at our Botanical Gardens.

  2. tina said,

    October 21, 2008 at 7:24 am

    They are doing quite nicely in that small garden. Very well designed. Neat meaning for the term cat’s meow.

  3. Jan said,

    October 21, 2008 at 9:01 am

    Racquel, I like Cat’s whiskers, too. I don’t know why I never have used them in my garden before.

    Tina, that area of the garden was indeed very well designed. It looked so neat an tidy.

  4. nancybond said,

    October 21, 2008 at 10:18 am

    I commented on Jodi’s blog this morning (bloomingwriter) that white is really growing on me. And this is a perfect example of how well it can work. White and green screams “cool” to me. 🙂

  5. Jan said,

    October 21, 2008 at 12:03 pm

    Nancy, I just love green and white gardens, esp. in the summer. They really do shout ‘cool’. Nothing is prettier to me than white caldiums in a shady area.

  6. Brenda Kula said,

    October 21, 2008 at 2:14 pm

    Oh, how I love pansies. And you’re right. Won’t survive the wretchedly hot summers. I think the green and white idea is a really good one. I shall ponder that.

  7. October 21, 2008 at 6:04 pm

    OK…I feel like I have learned so much about plants/flowers on this blog. Why? Because you’ve mentioned another plant I have never heard of. Cat Whiskers??? Grrr. I am going to list a flower book on my Christmas list for sure! 🙂

  8. Jan said,

    October 21, 2008 at 6:31 pm

    Brenda, I always have one section of my garden as just white and green. It just seems so much cooler in the heat of our summers.

    Alexandra, getting a book will probably be a good idea. I have an extensive library of plant books that I have read over the years that really helped me with gardening. Of course, now garden blogs in general are such great places for information and ideas. Just keep reading them and you’ll learn a lot. I am glad you are seeing more plants you find interesting.

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