Nepeta is a reliable perennial, very hardy and tolerant of all conditions and it returns reliably each year. Catmint produces clouds of soft blue and mauve in a garden and is a viable alternative to Lavender where the growing conditions are not suitable for Lavender. The fact that Nepeta is tolerant of most growing conditions, including partial shade, dry and drought areas, means it is useful for more difficult spots in the garden.
Cat mint will tolerate wetter conditions where Lavender will not; to thrive, Lavender requires much drier conditions than Catmint, especially over winter. Lavender will struggle on heavier wet ground as a Mediterranean plant. It needs to be dry, in well-drained soil and sunny; contrast Catmint which will grow almost anywhere. Nepeta is native to a number of habitats and so is less fussy where it grows. Catmint will grow in sun or partial shade and in both moist and dry soils. It is very tough and is almost a grow anywhere plant. The only conditions it will resent is really boggy ground. It is also long flowering and, if but back, will sometimes produce a second flush of flowers.
Once planted Nepeta is really easy to establish. It has the bonus of being very attractive to bees and pollinators. Walk past a clump on a warm day and it will be buzzing with the sound of bees. It is a plant which thrives in almost any conditions and does not need feeding, which can make it leggy. Apart from bees, as its name suggests, it is attractive to who love it. If you are not a cat lover and don't want sections of your plant rolled on, insert a few sticks, which will be concealed by the plant growth but serve to deter cats from taking a roll in the Nepeta. If you like cats, you may just want to sit by and watch them go bonkers for the cat mint, making a beeline for it and rolling about.