Gardening with allergies can be a wonderful experience with some planning.
The low allergy garden is full of beautiful plants that have one thing in
common. They are insect pollinated plants which eliminates wind blown
pollen. There are many, many trees, shrubs and perennials that are
pollinated by insects that the low allergy garden is well rounded.
All herbs, including rosemary, lavender, thyme, oregano, sage, mint and
chives, are welcome here as well as vegetable and fruiting plants.
Ground covers are used most effectively here. Covering the soil with
creeping plants reduces the dust in the garden and landscape. Wise choices
are creeping thymes, Corsican mint, ajuga, pachysandra, phlox and vinca.
Eliminate damp areas and reduce the use of natural mulch (wood chips,
shredded bark, compost, manure mix, etc.) which produce wind borne mold
spores. Instead use creeping ground covers or gravel. Xeriscape gardening
is a great alternative.
Choose perennials and flowering shrubs that produce brightly colored blooms used to
attract hummingbirds, butterflies, bees and other insects. Selections
include yarrow, dianthus, Echinacea, hypericum, Russian sage, daylilies,
tiarella, heuchera, veronica, salvia, hosta, monarda, roses, sambucus,
weigela, viburnum, rose of Sharon, and hydrangea.
Low allergy trees include apple, plum, magnolia, dogwood, crape myrtles and
Mow the lawn area frequently keeping it shorter than normally required.
Grass that is mowed to 2 inches is less likely to produce seed. It is
generally too short to catch wind blown pollen.
Walk your garden or landscape regularly to pull or spray out weeds. Weeds
are often the cause of more allergy issues than garden plants.
Hedges can pose a problem for allergy suffers as they collect dust, mold and
pollen. Keep them pruned and thinned out to reduce such as build up.
Some plants that will wreck havoc with allergy suffers are ornamental
grasses, most lawn grasses (mow frequently), conifers, aspen, oaks, ash,
elm, birch, walnut, and willow, evergreen varieties and broad leaf
evergreens. One exception to this is boxwood. As long as boxwoods are pruned
hard so that they don't flower, they can be added as low allergy plants.
Visible pollen isn't irritating as it comes from insect pollinating plants
and is too heavy to be carried by the wind. The lightweight, invisible
airborne pollen is the pollen that causes allergies.
When in doubt about selecting plants for low allergy gardening, go with
plants that produce brightly colored blooms so that they attract birds and
insects. When plants are noted as being female, choose it. Male sexed plants
produce airborne pollen.
Here is a link to the University of Vermont Extension site with an article
on Gardening with Allergies. It may be short, but this article is full of
useful information for the allergy suffer who wants to garden.
Check out our videos at the Greenwood Nursery YouTube Channel.
We're here. Just let us know if you need any help!