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Allergy-free gardening the revolutionary guide to healthy landscaping - Allergy-Free Gardening - WebMD


If years of sniffles, bloodshot, itchy eyes and even wheezing have made paving over the back garden seem an appealing notion, do not despair.

These gorgeous flowers are just what the horticulturalist ordered. Many of them propagate with seeds, while those that do make pollen create the kind that does not find its way into your nose and throat.

Rather, they produce heavy, sticky pollen, employing insects or hummingbirds – instead of the wind – to do the pollinating.

If years of sniffles, bloodshot, itchy eyes and even wheezing have made paving over the back garden seem an appealing notion, do not despair.

These gorgeous flowers are just what the horticulturalist ordered. Many of them propagate with seeds, while those that do make pollen create the kind that does not find its way into your nose and throat.

Rather, they produce heavy, sticky pollen, employing insects or hummingbirds – instead of the wind – to do the pollinating.

Allergy-free gardening…..could it be possible?  Let's begin with a lesson in flower structure to find out!

Flowers are one of the most desirable characteristics of many plants in our landscapes.  However, the sole function of the flower is reproduction.  Although we appreciate flowers for their beauty, their attractiveness and fragrance were designed to attract pollinators, which ensure the continuance of the plant species.

A flower that has stamens, pistils, petals, and sepals is called a complete flower.  Incomplete flowers have one or more of these parts missing.  Some plants like corn, squash, watermelons, and cucumbers produce flowers that lack one of the reproductive structures, either the stamens (male) or pistils (female).  These are known as imperfect flowers.  A flower is perfect if it contains both reproductive parts.

If years of sniffles, bloodshot, itchy eyes and even wheezing have made paving over the back garden seem an appealing notion, do not despair.

These gorgeous flowers are just what the horticulturalist ordered. Many of them propagate with seeds, while those that do make pollen create the kind that does not find its way into your nose and throat.

Rather, they produce heavy, sticky pollen, employing insects or hummingbirds – instead of the wind – to do the pollinating.

Allergy-free gardening…..could it be possible?  Let's begin with a lesson in flower structure to find out!

Flowers are one of the most desirable characteristics of many plants in our landscapes.  However, the sole function of the flower is reproduction.  Although we appreciate flowers for their beauty, their attractiveness and fragrance were designed to attract pollinators, which ensure the continuance of the plant species.

A flower that has stamens, pistils, petals, and sepals is called a complete flower.  Incomplete flowers have one or more of these parts missing.  Some plants like corn, squash, watermelons, and cucumbers produce flowers that lack one of the reproductive structures, either the stamens (male) or pistils (female).  These are known as imperfect flowers.  A flower is perfect if it contains both reproductive parts.


Mr Ogren holds a Master of Science in Agriculture ,  with an emphasis on horticulture, urban forests, and plant flowering systems and the connections between landscape plant materials and allergy. Tom started researching allergy-free gardening twenty-five years ago, because his wife, his mother and his sisters all suffered from hay fever and asthma. He is the creator of the Ogren Plant Allergy Scale (OPALS TM ) , the first and only numerical plant-allergy ranking system in existence, which is being used by the USDA to develop allergy rankings for all major U.S. urban areas.

Tom worked with the University of California Cooperative Extension, to establish community gardens in the Los Angeles inner city, and hosted the popular radio call-in gardening show, “Tom Ogren’s Wild World of Plants.” He writes for Garden Design, California Landscaping, The New Scientist, Organic Gardening, and a host of other publications.  He has been interviewed on NPR, CBS, NBC, Fox News, BBC, CNBC, and on many other radio and TV media stations.

To listen to the interview, click the player below. If you have any questions, comments, or suggestion, please use the  comment section under this post or contact Ellen Kamhi here .




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