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How to make a low allergen garden

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Its thought that lavender, like paxil, has an effect on brain chemicals involved in anxiety. Picture: Jason Boud

Look at two gardens: one might be a hotbed for hay fever while the other will leave allergy sufferers pleasingly sneeze-free.

The trick is to avoid plants which are pollinated by the wind and to choose those which are pollinated by bees instead, according to experts from the Royal College of Pathologists.

Two plots were exhibited at Chelsea Flower Show, where team leader Dr Tim Wreghitt said: ‘”e’re trying to make people aware of what might cause them a problem in their garden and minimise risk by replacing them with equally attractive alternatives.’”

It is timely advice for the UK’s estimated 15million hay fever sufferers

Ornamental grasses and birch are replaced in the College’s ‘”ow allergen” garden with New Zealand flax and Japanese maple.

Dr Wreghitt’s list of flower “baddies” for sufferers includes lavender and lilies, while his “goodies’”list provides similar swathes of colour through allium and hydrangeas.

Pat Schooling of Action Against Allergy said: “For so many people gardening is the main recreational pleasure, but the effect different plants can have is not widely known.

“The practical and informative theme of the College’s stand deserves to be widely commended.”

The “low allergen” garden is also recommended for asthma sufferers.

Cher Piddock of Asthma UK said: ‘”ollens, mould, spores, dust and strong scents can all trigger asthma attacks.

“Many people with asthma enjoy gardening so low allergen gardens are a wonderful way for them to enjoy their pastime.”

Avoiding wind-pollinated plants is advantageous because grains of pollen are free in the air and and can go up a hay fever sufferer’s nose, triggering an immune response and inflammation.

Pollen collected by bees stays with the insects and is not blown around. - Daily Mail

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