One in five people suffer from hay fever at some point in their life and find summer a time to be endured rather than enjoyed. As hay fever is an allergic reaction to the pollen released by plants gardening is not perhaps an ideal pastime for sufferers. Simply paving over the garden however is not an option for lovers of plants and the outside world.
The following hints and tips are designed to help create low allergen and therefore hay fever free gardens. When combined with common sense precautions such as not gardening on high pollen count days, wearing wraparound sunglasses and not bringing cut flowers indoors, these suggestion will enable everyone to share in the joy of gardening.
First select plants that are pollinated by insects rather than those that release their pollen into the air. The added benefit being that you will also be helping the bees!
Highly perfumed flowers can trigger an allergic reaction so avoid these and instead selected non-scented varieties.
Keep your lawn short with regular mowing as this will prevent the grasses from flowering. Better still, ask someone else to cut it for you!
Foliage plants are pollen free and can add colour and interest to your garden. The same applies to non-flowering grasses.
Weeds can produce high amounts of pollen (which is why they spread so quickly) so suppress them using low allergen ground cover plants such as vinca and ajuga.
Flowers aren’t the only way to bring colour to your garden. Painted fences, sheds and benches together with colourful pots can all play a part.
And do find time to sometimes just sit on the bench and enjoy the beautiful, sneeze and hay fever free garden you have worked so hard to create!