Being a gardener with allergies such as hay fever can hinder your enjoyment while gardening outside. Itchy eyes, a sore throat and sneezing are just a few of the symptoms which can make gardening difficult. There are plants that can cause your body to react more than others. Creating an allergy-friendly garden focuses on planting the right grass, flowers and trees to lessen your reaction.
Luckily, it is possible to have a garden that limits your reaction to pollen but also provides a haven for local wildlife. One idea is to choose native plants that are pollinated by animals rather than insects including asters and coneflowers. The pollen from these flowers tends to be heavier and less allergenic.
The best flowers to plant include Begonias, Azaleas, Gladiolus, Hydrangeas, Geraniums, Pansies and Tulips. Only buy shrubs or anything that lives for a longer time if you know whether you are allergic.
Trees to avoid include Maples, Oak, Birch and Cedar and the best trees to plant are Cherry, Apple, Pear and Plum. Weeds can aggravate allergies during spring so keep your garden free of weeds and access debris.
Keep your grass short, if cutting grass causes your allergies to flare up, ask a friend, family member or neighbour to mow your grass for you.
The best time to get out into the garden is the evening when pollen counts are much lower and limit gardening on days where pollen count is higher. Wear a large-brimmed hat and sunglasses to prevent pollen from getting in your eyes.
Of course, nothing works better than preparing yourself before you start gardening. Taking hay fever medication just before you enter the garden will keep symptoms to a minimum. Asthma can also be triggered by pollen, so make sure you have medication with you at all times. Avoid touching your eyes or face while you’re working, wearing gloves might help stop-transfer from your hands. Have a shower as soon as you go inside to stop pollen transferring to furniture in your home.