|Flowers can accent any
garden. They add color and can attract bees to pollinate your
entire garden. But flowers can also help your garden in other
Certain flowers can deter unwanted pests. Must-haves in your
garden are plants whose odors discourage unwanted insects from feasting
on the succulent leaves and shoots of your favorite blooms. French
marigolds (Tagetes patula), with strong odor in their leaves and
flowers, confuse pests looking for their favorite plants. Marigolds
also attract hoverflies which prey on aphids. The African species (T.
erecta) releases a substance from its roots called thiopene which
repels bad nematodes. The more of these attractive workhorses you can
plant, the better.
Sunflowers (Helianthus spp.) have long been used by gardeners and
farmers to protect their plants. Ants will herd aphids onto the
sunflowers and away from your more vulnerable plants. Sunflowers also
produce plentiful seedheads, perfect for the birds.