5 Easy and Practical Ways To Reduce Allergies with Better Garden Design | PITH + VIGOR by Rochelle Greayer

Welcome to the

Pith   Vigor

blog

+

CONNECT:

Hey There! I’m Rochelle Greayer. I’m a garden designer on TV and IRL. I’m also an author and entrepreneur who thinks she can save the world by teaching everyone a little something about landscape design.

rochelle

meet

REgister now!

A Free Master Class

THE 7-STEP SYSTEM TO DESIGN A

Gorge-
ous
Garden

STOP WASTING MONEY ON ALL THE WRONG PLANTS  

Join the Course Today!

Mix & match plants like a pro!

5 Easy and Practical Ways To Reduce Allergies with Better Garden Design

Is a Hypo-allergenic landscape possible?

Can you make your garden less irritating to your allergies?

Yes – and garden and planting design can help you drastically change your environment so you feel better.

If you suffer from allergies you likely have a particular allergy season that is worse for you. For many it is certain times in the spring when pollen counts spike for a plant that lives in your ecosystem. For others (like me) it is fall and winter with mold and the pollutants of recycled interior air. Whatever it is, the more you can hone in on the culprit and eliminate or reduce these allergens from your garden and surroundings the better.  The design of your garden can play a significant role in an allergy sufferers battle to breath. 

Using OPALS to choose plants

In his book, The Allergy Fighting Garden, Thomas Leo Ogren, lays out a ranking system for plants called OPALS. OPALS (Ogren Plant Allergy Scale) has been adopted by the American Lung Association and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Urban and Community Forest Service and is also being added to plant labels in the UK. OPALS is a great tool to learn how to manage, choose and alter the plants in your landscape to reduce garden allergies that trigger asthma.

If a plant ranks low (1-3) on the scale it is basically benign to allergy sufferers. But if it ranks high (9-10) then it has an extremely high potential to allergic reactions.  If you suffer with allergies and are making a garden – knowing a plant’s OPALS score is helpful to make sure you aren’t planting something problematic.

The complete OPALS scale for plants is in the book, Allergy-Free Gardening. In the book, over 5,000 plants are individually allergy-ranked.

OPALS is a tremendous resource, but it isn’t the only way to fight environmental allergies.  Beyond OPALS, there are other practical steps you can take to reduce the allergy potential of your landscape and garden.  Keep in mind that proximity matters, very much. A highly allergenic plant in your own yard, will expose you and your family much more than it will impact your neighbors.

5 Easy and Practical Ways To Reduce Garden Allergies with garden and planting design

  1. Botanical sexism is real 😉 – male trees are typically more problematic than female trees. The pollen that male trees spread is a primary irritant. If you have a male tree, it is possible to top-graft it with a female version and essentially give it a sex change. Female and asexual trees don’t spread pollen. In this way a tree in your landscape can become less problematic without being removed.
  2. You may not need to entirely remove offending plants. Instead first aim to reduce or bring balance in your landscape. Allergists advise that most allergies are cumulative and it is only when a threshold of exposure has been surpassed that sufferers exhibit symptoms. Reducing exposure (rather than eliminating) very well may be enough to curb symptoms while also not radically altering your landscape.
  3. While male plants provide pollen, they generally do not provide much nectar, a major food source for bees and butterflies. Increasing the quantity of female plants will also help pollinators.
  4. If you have offending trees in your neighborhood, one of the best things you can do to protect yourself, is to plant a tall dense hedge on the windward side of your property. This barrier will reduce your exposure to airborne particles. The hedge will not only change airflow, but will act as a filter.
  5. There are other causes for allergies in your garden besides plants. Pay attention to mold (often found in mulches, diseased plants and irrigation systems), pesticides and fungicides, and spores from plants like ferns. It is good to know the cause of your allergies, so that you can be most mindful of the exposure sources.

Photo by Erda Estremera on Unsplash

Botanical Sexism: How To Put a Stop to Our Allergy Crisis

Stop Allergies! How to Plant Pretty Protective Hedges

 

Share This Post:

5 Easy and Practical Ways To Reduce Garden Allergens
Spread the love

REgister now!

A Free Master Class

THE 7-STEP SYSTEM TO DESIGN A

Gorge-
ous
Garden

Do you Need a
Garden Makeover?

Join my Free Webinar Today!


- Learn my 7-step system to design and build a stunning garden anywhere in the world.

- The 5 mistakes EVERYONE makes when creating a garden. (save yourself time, money, and headaches and get much better results!)

- How to work directly with me (but at a DIY price!) to design and create YOUR own gorgeous garden. 

SIGN ME UP!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

join the FrEE 10-day garden Design challenge

Your Garden will look waaayyy better in less than 2 weeks - Promise!

in the weeds?

Sign me up