For most of us, the spring and summer months are a time to enjoy the beauty of nature and changing of the seasons, but for others, it’s the start of uncontrollable sneezing, runny noses and itchy eyes for weeks on end! According to the Met Office, 1 in 5 people in the UK suffer from hay fever and with this year’s pollen count on a high, we’ve identified these hay fever friendly blooms that you can still enjoy.
This traditional favourite is a safe choice for hay fever sufferers as the tightly closed buds minimise the release of pollen. Said to portray the meaning of ‘gracious lady’, these blooms provide nectar for bumble bees who are one of the few insects that are able to ‘open’ the flower. Antirrhinums will add height to any design – arrange them with round-headed summer blooms to create a gorgeous display for your mantelpiece.
You’ll be pleased to know that the large, luxurious taffeta-like flower heads of the peony will give you the joys of the season without setting off the sneezes! The popular summer bloom is a reliable choice as it is pollinated by insects rather than the wind. Peonies are said to represent bashfulness and is loved so much by the Chinese city of Luoyang, that they hold an annual peony festival every April – which sounds like our kind of festival!
The national flower of England and the world’s favourite bloom! This classic beauty can be enjoyed by all as roses only release small amounts of pollen into the air. With a huge range of colours and varieties, this symbol of love is the perfect choice to send to hay fever sufferers. Top tip – opt for the tight budded varieties to further minimise pollen exposure.
Another safe choice this season is gladioli. They originate from South Africa and are said to symbolise generosity. This bloom’s pollen is thick and sticky, meaning they are commonly pollinated by bees, rather than the wind. The tall stems come in a wide range of beautiful colours and will certainly brighten any home or garden.
A pretty, delicate star-shaped flower that will add texture to any bouquet, making it a very popular choice for spring and summer weddings. Astrantia was first cultivated in Britain in the 16th century and became a cottage garden favourite, which can also be found growing in the wild. The great news is they rate low on the allergy scale, so there’s no need to be afraid of that hay fever headache!
These stunning blooms are also insect pollinated, making them another safe option this summer. Hydrangeas come in shades of blue, pink and white and are said to carry the meaning, ‘thank you for understanding’. Did you know, their dried leaves are used to make a sweet tea called Ama-cha in Japan, which is prepared each year to celebrate Buddha’s birthday!