As we gear up for planting season, here are a few plants that definitely pull their weight.  Yes, they are great to look at, but they do some very important jobs as well.  Whether you are contemplating your own personal, home garden, or planning out the landscaping within your community, here are a few hardworking plants that you may want to consider incorporating ‌‌

Peppermint

While we are normally fans of furry little friends, in the case of mice, we might make an exception.  If you are finding evidence of Mickey, Minnie or any of their many, many friends, there are some very helpful herbs that you can employ.  Peppermint’s strong smell is a natural and effective mouse repellent.  Mice, which have a keen sense of smell, can’t stand the strong scent, and thus, avoid areas where it is growing.  It is important to note, however, that mint can be pretty aggressive once planted and will happily take over any space that you provide it.  This being the case, consider placing plants in large pots to contain its enthusiasm.  The added benefit, you can move these pots around if you notice possible mouse activity in a new area, and you can also easily create new landscaping designs just by changing this around a bit.  Bonus.  ‌‌

Lavender

There is a reason why numerous brands have used lavender for decades in products like soaps, lotions and cleaning products.  This fancy flora smells really good.  That is, it smells really good to humans.  To many common pests, the scent is absolutely detestable.  Nuisances like mosquitoes, flys, months and even fleas are put off by the strong aroma.  This, along with the fact that lavender is just plain pretty to look at, makes it an ideal addition to outdoor spaces in yards, or around community buildings and spaces.  Additionally, recent studies have confirmed that lavender has some very interesting health benefits, from improving the quality of sleep, to reducing anxiety.  So take a deep breath and reap the benefits of this perfect, purple plant.  ‌‌

Marigolds

For years, gardeners that considered themselves “in the know” have planted marigolds near their vegetable plants.  These iconic flowers attract pollinators, like bees, which help to propagate those blue-ribbon worthy crops.  However, in addition to inviting the right guests to the party, marigolds have been known to keep the ne'er-do-well pest out of these spaces.  Marigolds have roots that grow surprisingly deep and emit a distinct odor.  These aggressive root systems, as well as their smell, helps to deter burrowing baddies like moles and gophers that would otherwise wreak havoc on gardens and other green spaces. ‌‌

Mother-In-Law’s Tongue

Now here is a plant with a catchy name. If you have not heard of this perennial before, perhaps you have heard it referred to by its other name: the Snake Plant.  The leaves of the snake plant are sharp and look intimidating to snakes (while looking pretty cool to the human eye), and it also reproduces oxygen at a rate that is higher than most other plants, which also serves to keep the slithering serpents at bay.  This plant does best in warmer climates, but can handle inconsistent watering schedules (something that often goes hand in hand with warmer climates).  However, it is important to know that if housepets like cats or dogs ingest the leaves of the Snake Plant, they can suffer some pretty bad tummy upset, so be sure to keep your furry friends away.  ‌‌

Happy planting!‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌