Fluttering Flowers
July 1, 2019 – 12:08 am | Comments Off on Fluttering Flowers

Regular readers of this blog know that your Road Trips Gardener considers butterflies as fluttering flowers (of course, they’re privileged visitors to gardens as well).
There are all sorts of places to see butterflies. Some botanical …

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Gardens and Allergies

Submitted by on August 3, 2014 – 8:03 amNo Comment
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sneeeze Special to Road Trips Gardeners

Ask anybody with allergies how they feel about springtime and inevitably they’ll talk about red-eyes, itchiness, runny noses and sneezing … lots of sneezing. But what if you love gardening? Can you enjoy the outdoors, or do you just give up on having a beautiful garden?

Dr. Clifford Bassett, M.D., Medical Director of Allergy and Asthma Care of New York, gives advice on how to minimize the effects of the pollen season while tending to your garden this Spring:

1. Get yourself tested – The first step towards reducing allergy-related symptoms while gardening is to identify the plants and flowers that can “trigger” your discomfort. An allergist will highlight which allergy-causing plants are problematic and develop an individually tailored prevention and management for your seasonal allergies after a series of diagnostic allergy skin tests.

2. Know your plants – By knowing which plants are the “right” plants for you, you can plan ahead and modify your gardening schedule. This involves having the knowledge regarding peak periods throughout the day (for some sufferers sneezing may be worse in the morning, while for others may be more affected in the afternoon and evening.)

3. Stay informed – Learn the pollen count in your town or city. Pollen counts from the previous day are available for major cities via the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI) as well as in local newspapers and with the daily weather reports on radio and TV.

4. Don’t blame the pretty plants – Many people, especially those who haven’t been tested, often blame plants with with bright, fragrant flowers for their allergies. But the truth is that the plants that often cause allergies are those whose pollen is windborn and have nondescript looking flowers.

5. The Battle of the Sexes (of Plants) – Modern landscapes are heavily loaded with predominantly male-only trees and shrubs, favored because they produce less berries and twigs. Male plants produce the pollen bad guys that cause seasonal sniffling and itchiness, not female plants! A relatively new numerical scale, the Ogren Plant Allergy Scale or OPALS, can help to predict the likelihood of each plant’s potential to cause allergy.

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