With Summer on the way, unfortunately pollen is again starting to make an appearance, with the associated allergic symptoms: runny noses, sneezing, itchy nose and throat… Hay fever affects 20% of the population. So as not to have to hide indoors for fear of allergies, here are a few tips for growing a hypoallergenic garden, in order to make the most of the fine weather.
A hypoallergenic garden means growing plants with very little pollen, in order to limit allergies. Therefore, you need to learn about the best plants to choose, and why.
1/ Plants that don’t emit pollen are your best friends
Roses, orchids, geraniums and narcissus are all plants that do not emit pollen. Even if they aren’t your favourites, chrysanthemums are also ideal for reducing allergies.
2/ Opt for entomophilous plants
It is important to know that not all plants disperse pollen in the same way. Some require insects for the transfer of pollen in order to reproduce, and these are the entomophilous plants. Others spread their pollen in the air, which is dispersed via the wind, and these are anemophilous plants.
In order to reduce your allergies, go for entomophilous plants such as broom, acacia and delphinium, for example.
3/ Heathers, climbers, aromatics, succulents, etc.
All plants from the heather family such as camellias, azaleas or ferns, as well as climbing plants such as jasmine, wisteria or honeysuckle, can make up part of your pollen-free garden. The same goes for the majority of cacti and succulents, as well as aromatic plants and vegetables.
4/ What to avoid
If you don’t want to suffer unpleasant allergic symptoms, ban cedars, which are widely used to grow hedges, ambrosia, alder, ash and birch -undoubtedly the worst of them all. There are many more – be careful when you garden! Also be aware that allergic reactions can be exacerbated by air pollution.
5/ Find a compromise
In order to enjoy your garden without running the risk of itching and sneezing, remember that there are numerous ways to create a garden without pollen.
Opt for ferns and mosses, which, contrary to a typical lawn, don’t emit pollen and thus don’t provoke allergic reactions.
Similarly, consider alternatives such as a Japanese garden, which includes mineral elements such as rocks, gravel, sand and water, and are mainly embellished with heathergrass plants such as azaleas, rhododendrons, camellias, and some types of maple. Species of mosses, ferns and bamboo are also great alternatives.
You could also install a pretty pool or basin containing floating flowers (water lilies, lotus, iris, amphibious knotweeds, watercups, etc.) or riverbank flowers (rushes, loosestrife, willowherb, lysimachus, Japanese primrose, etc.)
6/ A few tips for looking after your garden!
The better a garden is looked after, the less pollen it will disperse. If you are allergic yourself, ideally do your gardening in the morning rather than at the end of the day. It is recommended that you mow the lawn several times a week to limit allergies, but avoid rotary lawnmowers as they project pollen into the air and circulate it. Regularly weed the garden, and avoid using pesticides, because insects transport pollen.