If you or someone in your household suffers from seasonal allergies, the pollen-filled spring and summer months can be a challenging time — and you may feel that you have little choice but to remain indoors as much as possible during pollen season. However, it's possible to be able to enjoy outdoor living even for those with seasonal allergies with the help of thoughtful landscape design. Following are several strategies designed to help you create a beautiful outdoor space that also takes your allergies into account.
Understanding Your Allergens
First, know your enemy. Different plants release pollen at different times of the year, and not all plants are problematic for all allergy sufferers. By identifying which plants trigger your allergies, you can make more informed choices about what to include in your garden.
Choosing Low-Pollen Plants
Certain plants are less likely to aggravate allergy symptoms. Generally, plants with bright, showy flowers are safer options as they are often pollinated by insects, not by wind. This means their pollen is less likely to end up in your nose and eyes. Examples include roses, azaleas, and daisies. Conversely, many trees, grasses, and weeds produce wind-pollinated pollen and can be problematic.
Incorporating Hardscaping Elements
You can also reduce your allergy symptoms by incorporating more hardscaping elements into your landscape design. Hardscaping refers to non-living features like patios, walkways, and retaining walls. By reducing the amount of vegetation, you decrease the amount of pollen in your outdoor space. Adding a water feature can also be beneficial, as the moisture can help to keep pollen levels down.
Practicing Allergy-Safe Gardening Techniques
How you maintain your garden can also impact your allergy symptoms. Regularly mowing your lawn can help keep grass pollen at bay. However, if you're highly sensitive, it might be better to have someone else handle this task, or wear a mask while doing it. Similarly, wearing gloves and a long-sleeved shirt can help protect your skin when handling plants. Be vigilant about weeding, particularly between the months of August and November, when weed pollen activity is most prevalent.
Planning Your Outdoor Activities Wisely
Even with the most allergy-friendly landscape, you may still have some symptoms during peak pollen times. Monitor your local pollen forecast and try to stay indoors on high pollen count days and when wind activity is high. When you do venture out, avoid the morning hours when pollen counts are typically highest.
For more information about residential landscape designs with allergies in mind, contact a local company.