A low-allergen garden was required for my client who has a severe hay fever allergy. Research shows that the plant selection should be based on non-wind pollinated plants, a flower shape that reduces pollen exposure and ground cover plants to prevent weeds. Likewise, an artificial lawn provides a low-allergen solution that’s also low maintenance.
The dining terrace has been positioned in the centre of the garden to capture the sun throughout the day. Another feature are the gravel paths leading through archways to a utility area in one corner and a mindful space with swing seat in the opposite corner.
Whilst grasses couldn’t be used in the scheme, Verbena bonariensis and Gaura lindheimeri ‘Whirling Butterflies’ provide movement and add an ephemeral quality to the planting. Prunus lusitanica creates an evergreen backdrop to the sandstone birdbath. Similarly, the Cercis canadensis ‘Forest Pansy’ introduces a rich foliage colour to contrast the buff paving and gravel. As well as the Cercis, trees such as Malus x zumi ‘Golden Hornet’ and espalier pear trees provide spring colour and are bee pollinated.
A great plant to use for low maintenance is a row of Hebe that will spill over the path providing evergreen winter structure. Another example of low-allergen plants are roses as their petals contain the pollen. As the oak sleepers silver with age they compliment the silvery foliage of the lavender and white blooms of Rosa ‘Margaret Merrill’.