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10 Flowers that Insects Hate!

Some must-have perennial bloomers for mountain gardens. Colorful flowers that bugs NEVER will eat.

Watters Weekly Garden Classes


Aug 6 – Secret Gardens with Hedges & Privacy Screens. Not all plants are created equal when it comes to intimacy in the garden. This class shows off the best plants, fastest growing, height, thickness, spacing and the local technique that gets them to fill in FAST! You can block unsightly neighbors and enhance your view, or pesky traffic and cut noise and light pollution. Experts will be on hand to help individuals with unique situations.

Aug 20 – Juicier Fruits, Grapes & Berries. Central Yavapai county is famous for our wine grapes but you can grow so much more. We will have experts on hand that can share the best producing raspberries, a blackberry bush that produces HUGE berries, more table grapes, gooseberries, currents, elderberries and more. Join in the garden harvest to big, juicy fruiting plants.

Aug 27 – Drip Irrigation Design and Installation (Free) It's time to turn that irrigation back on. Learn the benefits of drip irrigation, the best emitters and parts, how to set a system up or add to it. With the right system you can save water and have healthier plants at the same time. We will also go over how to properly set up and run an irrigation clock.


Sept 3 – How to use Climbers & Clematis in Garden Design. Vines climb quickly up fence posts, pergolas, barbed wire, walls and trellis. They block, screen and shade better then any other plants in the nursery, but not all vines are created equal. Learn these vines favorite locals, sun and shade lovers, and all the advice to get these bloomers climbing. Free to clematis lovers and those that like growing plants.

Sept 10 – Wildlife & Bug Prevention – What's Eatin' Your Garden? Late summer is the peak of the bug season, with intense pressure from the furry visitors in the yards. We have the solutions. Students start with javalina and pack rats, then quickly move to the best solutions for grasshoppers and tomato worms. You can have a nice yard with these easy-to-use tips and a few key plant choices. Frustrated gardeners will have all the advice they can mustard and all Free.

Sept 17 – Western Natives & the Water-wise Landscape. Native plants are unique, hardy and some so unusual gardeners will marvel at how to use them. It all comes down to companion planting. We cover native trees, native shrubs, native flowers and native vines that all adapt so well they need no care after establishment. Students will be a native pro after this class. We stock up on extra natives before this class. Join the water-wise fun.

Sept 24 – Mountain Appealing Shrubs – Shrubs are the backbone of a good design. They provide essential structure, beauty, fragrance and color with a great variety of shapes. Rock landscapes without shrubs tend to look strange, immature and lacking. Learn how to use shrubs to create simple but effective planting combinations for a design impact that will WOW all four seasons of the year. Free to gardeners that want more from their yard.


Oct 1 – Container Designs – Easy as 1-2-3. The fall plants have arrived, and this is the month to transition from summer blooming flowers to winter hardy pansy, viola, mums, kale, dusty miller and more. Expect inspirational color from your container gardens right through the holiday season to come. Students learn the best soils, foods and flowers that keep on blooming. Bring your empty containers and experts will be on hand after the class to help personalize your style. All Free:)

Oct 8 – Trees – Choosing, Using & Planting Techniques. Privacy, shade, color, evergreen and blooms. We cover trees from every angle, especially small gardens, including trees for country gardens and trees for difficult sites. Trees for blossom, bark, fruit and colorful autumn foliage. With so many choices picking the perfect tree can be overwhelming, but not after this class. Our entire horticultural team will be on-hand after the class to help with individual tree situations. Free tree planting guide to students after this class.

Oct 15 – Keeping Critters Out. The animals can have a ferocious appetite in the landscape, but not in your landscape. These simple steps will keep critters at bay. We will take special care to show only plants the furry locals are know to dislike, some may even have a repelling presence to them.

Oct 22 – Autumn Colors Enjoyed at Home Landscapes in autumn can be stunning, but only if you plan for them. This easy care advice will bring the silver and blues out of the evergreens, brilliant bright foliage and crazy colored flowers. Make this the brightest fall of all. Plant experts will abound after the class to show off new plant introductions along with local favorites.

Oct 29 – Fall 'To-do' list for a Healthy Yard Get the most out of your landscape this fall with this easy to use checklist of fall care. Bring the color out of the fall gardens, reduce bugs next spring, or simply put you landscape to bed for fall with these easy to use ideas. You will have a better landscape next spring if you do.

Mountain monsoon season is the start of perennial blooms in the high country. Not only do most perennial flowers take off with new buds and blooms, but they are magnets to unrelenting voracious insects.

Bugs wreak havoc on flowers leaving frustrated gardeners to ponder whether to fight back with chemical pesticides, organic poultices, or angry machete chops. However, even if you've lost the battle with bugs this season, you can win the war by planting flowers that insects find unpalatable. These flowers naturally repel insects due to soapy sap, succulent leaves, hairy foliage, and other natural defenses, meaning you have more time to devote to weeding , bouquet gathering, or just relaxing in the garden.

Lavender - If you have an area of full sun and well-drained soil, you have the opportunity to grow lavender, one of the most beloved perfume-yielding plants. The foliage and the flowers are filled with lavender fragrance ripe for potpourri, bouquets, and for use in the kitchen.

Catmint - Whether or not you like cats, if pests are a problem, you should include the famed Nepeta 'Walker's Low' in your perennial garden. Not only does this blue-blooming hummingbird magnet deflect insects, but rabbits and deer will pass it by as well. Try a pretty carpet of several plants as a companion planting in a rose garden.

Bloody Cranesbill - Not to be confused with annual geraniums, this wilder cousin of traditional geraniums is a good pest-repelling option. Plant in average soil in partial shade, and enjoy the summer-long flowers and fragrant foliage of this perennial bloomer.

Daylily- With so many perennial colors to choose from, local gardeners collect daylilies like they acquire roses. No matter the color, or fragrance, bugs have a disdain for the taste. Every garden deserves at least one daylily, because it is suited to x eriscapes , is both bug and animal proof, and grows even better than ornamental grasses in local gardens.

Russian Sage – This is an indispensable plant for the hot sunny border because it attracts beneficial bees but offers nothing to browsing bug pests. Even javelina find this bloomer distasteful. This is due in part to a combination of a bracing herbal aroma, and tough, fuzzy foliage. Gardeners will appreciate the waving blue wands of foliage from early summer until fall on plants that need no deadheading and, once established, require no additional irrigation. To keep Russian sage in check pull up young runners in the spring.

Butter Daisy - It's a wonder that the cheerful annual Melampodium divaricatum hasn't earned a rightful place alongside marigolds and zinnias as a local favorite. This flower is easy to start from seed, and plants stay smothered in one-inch yellow blossoms all season. No need to save seed for the next summer's blooms, as these plants self-seed easily. All the bright green plants ask is a location in full sun and regular watering.

Dianthus - It seems that insects abhor the spicy clove scent of cottage pinks as much as we love it. Dianthus was born to thrive in rock gardens, as sharp drainage is an essential habitat for the success of this spring-flowering plant.

African Lily- Also known as lily of the Nile, its thick, strappy foliage shrugs off insects with ease. A true zone 8 perennial, this blue-flowering plant performs best in the warmer parts of the garden.

Meadow Sage – The earthy sage fragrance of this spring bloomer seems to please everybody's sense of smell. Dark blue flowers cover its foot-tall stalks. A local wildflower, it is so easy to grow that it naturally spreads to form a meadow look without any care. Cut back the spent flowers and you can cause them to re-bloom in summer. One of my favorites.

Rosemary - Although gardeners find this evergreen herb delightful, it has the opposite effect on destructive bugs. Rosemary comes in two forms, a ground cover type and the hip-high upright variety. Both are used in the kitchen, both repel insects from the garden, and both are equally animal proof. A dependable perennial that should be in every garden.

Gardening Classes - Aug 20 @ 9:30 am is Juicier Fruits, Grapes & Berries. Yavapai County is famous for our wine grapes, but we'll have experts on hand that can share their knowledge of the best-producing raspberries, blackberry bushes that produce HUGE berries, table grapes, gooseberries, currants , elderberries, and more. Join in to learn about a garden harvest from plants with big, juicy, fruits.

August 27 @ 9:30 am we host Drip Irrigation Design and Installation. It’s time to tune up that irrigation system as we head into fall. Learn the benefits of drip irrigation, the best emitters and parts, how to set up a system or how to add to it. With the right system, you can save water and have healthier plants at the same time. We also go over how to properly set and run that confusing irrigation clock.

Facebook 'Go Live' – Can't make a class? We stream these garden classes live through the Watters Garden Center Facebook page. Like our page and watch at your convenience.

Until next week, I'll see you here at Watters Garden Center.

Ken Lain, the Mountain Gardener

Ken Lain is attracted to sunshine, beauty, happiness, success and health through gardening, and wishes to point the way to others. Throughout the week Ken can be found at Watters Garden Center located at 1815 W. Iron Springs Rd, Prescott, or contacted through his web site at