Outdoor rooms are a great place to enjoy meals in the summer. Fire up the grill and you’ve got a casual party atmosphere. But mosquitoes and other insects are one of the nuisances hosts have to consider when planning a barbecue. Everyone wants to be outside in the summer enjoying the beautiful weather, but no host wants to get bit or have his or her guests get bit. Many put out citronella candles or mosquito coils to keep pests away; others plan to spend the time in a screened porch so as to avoid the bugs. Still others fog ahead of time, but that leaves a less-than-pleasant smell in the air. Is there a better way?
A natural way to deal with insects is to do it with plants that by nature repel insects. The added bonus is that many of these plants provide wonderful fragrances that grace the night or the person if they brush against them. Planting the right varieties that offer fragrance and repel insects can extend the time you are able to spend in your garden, patio, or outdoor living room. The placement of these plants should be near the seating areas or the doorways of the outdoor space. Scattering potted plants near your cooking area helps keep the cook pest-free, too.
Some of the key plants to consider as mosquito-repelling plants include rosemary, basil, scented geraniums, citronella grass, and lavender. Rosemary has many benefits as it can be used in cooking plus it repels mosquitoes and cabbage moths. You can plant it in a pot and bring it in the winter. The scent of the basil’s leaves is a natural deterrent for mosquitoes and flies. It’s a great container plant or works well planted in the garden. Lavender is probably one of the only plants that you won’t see a rabbit eating. Rosemary’s leaves are where the lavender oil comes from that keeps the mosquitoes at bay. It also offers one of the most beautiful fragrances. Take a moment and bruise the leaves of the rosemary plant that will release the natural oils and leave a lovely smell in the air for a summer evening.
Citronella grass and scented geraniums, which are both lemon-scented plants, could also be added to container plants for repelling mosquitoes. Imagine how much more pleasant an atmosphere you can have for your outdoor meals and gatherings, surrounded by aromatic plants rather than insect repellents!
Architectural Landscape Design plans and installs outdoor living spaces such as patios, gazebos, terraces, and pergolas in the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area.