Flowers & Gardening

Easy Update: Mosquito-Repelling Potagerie

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Outdoor entertaining is one of the great joys of spring and summer. Until, of course, the bugs invade. In place of spray and pesticides, try a cluster of mosquito-repelling potted plants. Grouped together near the outdoor furniture on your deck or patio or by a couple of accent chairs on your covered porch, they make a pretty and lush addition to your alfresco landscape while protecting you and your guests.

Most plants that repel bugs possess an herbaceous scent that adds a pleasant aroma to your garden. These plants are generally sun-loving, prolific growers, making them very easy to care for. Among the most popular (and loveliest): lavender, marigolds, and good news for enthusiastic cooks, basil, mint, rosemary, and sage.

We are fans of the “thrill, spill, fill” gardening motto. When choosing plants it’s nice to feature a tall plant (this is your “thrill”), fronted by both an abundant midsize plant (your “fill”) and a lower-growing plant that creeps so it “spills” over the edge.

In warmer weather, potted plants dry out faster than plants in the ground. Make sure to water them often.

Bug-repelling cascading geranium will drape over its pot and add a delicate floral scent to your potagerie.

Bug-repelling cascading geranium will drape over its pot and add a delicate floral scent to your potagerie.

Catnip is said to be 10 times more effective than DEET in repelling mosquitoes.

Catnip is said to be 10 times more effective than DEET in repelling mosquitoes.

Citronella, or West Indian lemongrass, is a tall plant and the source of citronella oil.

Citronella, or West Indian lemongrass, is a tall plant and the source of citronella oil.

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