For the last 20 years or more I have been dutifully trecking off to Royal Hospital Road for Chelsea Flower Show’s press day in the vain hope of finding a low allergen show garden. So I was more than frustrated (I was unable to go this year) when I heard an item on the Today Programme about a low allergen garden at Chelsea!! Really! After 20 years of waiting it shows up in the one year that I am not there!!
In fact, it turns out that it is not actually a show garden as such but a display by the Royal College of Pathologists in the Great Pavilion Discovery Zone – but never mind. It is displaying all these great low allergen (low pollen) flowers, it got onto prime time radio – and it has got The Archers on board!! ‘Lynda Snell’, who suffers from hay fever, was there on the stand yesterday. You can find out more about the garden here on the RCP’s site although sadly I have not been able to find anything on the Chelsea Flower Show site. (Searching the site for ‘low allergen plants’ merely brought up a page on poisonous plants…)
So, I continue to live in hopes that one day one of those hay-fever-suffering garden designers who wheeze, gasp and sneeze their way through Chelsea Flower Show each year will bite the bullet, study Tom Ogren’s OPALS plant allergy scale and come up with a genuinely low allergen show garden…. And if they do not know what I am talking about, they should just read any of the articles here on our site…
Mind you, the Today programme is not the only one to have picked up on hay fever and the damage done by pollen. Countryfile Diaries did a piece on seasonal allergies with our very own Ruth Holroyd which went out on May 20th. (You can get it on iPlayer here.) They were really enthusiastic when I spoke to them and fingers crossed that they might think of including regular allergy updates throughout the year. OK, so now it is pollen, but what about grass a bit later, and then mould in the autumn…. All killers for those who live in close proximity to them. You can read more about the programme on Ruth’s What Allergy blog here.
And on to eczema….
And finally…. Nothing directly to do with hay fever or inhaled allergens, but there was an excellent piece in the Guardian last Saturday by author Maggie O’Farrell about her baby daughter Astrid’s horrendous eczema. For anyone who thinks that eczema is just – well, a bit of eczema – think again.
(Image courtesy of Graham Turner and the Guardian.)