23rd May 2012
Horticultural specialists are aiming to make hay fever sufferers' lives more bearable this summer following an educational exhibition at this year's Chelsea Flower Show.
The Royal College of Pathologists is displaying two gardens this year - one which is full of sneezy-nasties, such as wallflowers, ferns, lavender and lilies,; the other with friendlier breeds. These include the allium, periwinkle, New Zealand flax, hosta and Japanese maple.
The secret behind which plants cause the worst symptoms lies in the way that they pollinate. Plants which are pollinated by the wind for example, will blow their spores all over the garden, whereas those pollinated by bees don't, dailymail.co.uk reports.
Experts in the field are already expecting this year to be one of the worst ever on record for hay fever sufferers - of which there are 15 million in the UK. This is thanks to the recent period of wet weather which was preceded by an extremely dry spell. According to experts, these conditions have created the perfect conditions for grass, which holds vast amounts of pollen.
While having hay fever might be a good excuse to stay indoors, or enjoy the outdoors from the comfort of contemporary garden rooms, the research could help those who are desperate to get out but can't.
Too much pollen can be deadly for asthma sufferers, for example, according to Asthma UK's lead nurse, Cher Piddock.
"Pollens, mould, spores, dust and strong scents can all trigger asthma attacks so it's great to see exhibits like this which help to raise awareness of respiratory allergies, hay fever and asthma," she told rcpath.org.
"Many people with asthma enjoy gardening so low allergen gardens are a wonderful way for them to enjoy their pastime without constant fear of an asthma attack."