How can your garden help fight hayfever?
So the summer has rolled around, and you’re sneezing again. The hottest months of the year and you’re feeling distinctly un-summery. The times you want to be outside most of all, and you can’t step outdoors without feeling the tingle of swelling sinuses, irritated eyes and a sniffling nose.
The good news is, you don’t need to sacrifice a beautiful garden to create an allergy-free environment- in fact, you can create a space that’s ideal for local wildlife. This is because heavier pollen- i.e. that which needs insects, rather than the breeze, to spread it around, is less prone to causing allergies.
As mentioned above, plants with heavier pollen also present less of a threat of hayfever, so rather than keep a large lawn consider expanding borders to accommodate flowering plants, shrubs and other ornamental plants. Many flowers, especially those with closed blooms, such as tulips, keep pollen tightly packed away from the air. Open-bloom flowers, such as sunflowers, dahlias and asters, expose more of their pollen to the air and can therefore spread more around. Highly fragrant flowers are believed to be more likely to trigger allergies, and are therefore best avoided. The worst offenders in the average garden, however, are trees and grasses, which can produce huge clouds of wind-blown pollen that will not only trigger allergies outside, but worse can make their way indoors.
Fuchsias, geraniums, tulips, penstemons, and clematis all produce low levels of pollen and can create a favourable garden for hayfever sufferers. With their pollen-enclosing flowers and heavy pollen particles that are unlikely to drift far, you will find these create an attractive garden while minimising airbourne pollen particles. Intersperse these with berries, cactus, and winter-flowering plants that will be easier on your allergies.