2017 Saturday Solutions / Solving problems


If you have anthrophobia, you have a fear of flowers. Maybe the sight of Gladiolus makes you cringe because they are used so often at funerals, or maybe flowers make you think of a time that you were in the hospital and someone sent you an arrangement. But chances are, if you have a fear of flowers it is because you suffer from allergies.

How can you overcome your fear? Well, allergies are no fun, and for some people they can be debilitating, but there are  flowers that you can have in your garden that are far less likely to cause any sort of allergic reaction than others. And by the way, Goldenrod does not deserve the evil reputation that it has. Ragweed, another yellow-flowered plant, blooms at the same time and is the real cause of our sniffles. As its fine pollen can travel tens if not hundreds of miles, you can be sneezing from ragweed pollen even if you don’t have any in the area. So Goldenrod has been framed… Give it a try; it’s a great native plant and there are many species to choose from!

But we digress… Below are some flowers that you should be able to grow without breaking out the Kleenex. For more information on allergies and how to get the most out of your garden if you have them, visit this article written by the University of Vermont’s extension program.


Geraniums. Perennial geraniums such as “Rozanne’, or “New Hampshire Purple” are good bets, but there are lots to choose from!


Peonies. Lightly scented June bloomers, Peonies come in shades of white to pink to red. There are even a few yellow ones among the tree peonies.


Pansies. Who doesn’t love pansies? Their friendly faces belong in every garden. And don’t forget them after spring has gone by – growing conditions are similar in the fall, so they make great fall annuals, as well!



Rosemary. Aromatic herbs like Rosemary, Mint, and Oregano can fill the void created by scented, pollen-laden allergy triggers. Best to treat them like annuals and keep them in pots, especially mint, which will survive the winter and unless contained, will run rampant through your whole garden!


Iris. Another long-time favorite, they come in all colors, sizes, and blooming seasons, so there is something for everyone.


Hydrangea. Hydrangeas are great old fashioned shrubs. With all the new cultivars coming out these days, there are new colors and sizes all the time, so you can fit them practically anywhere.

Happy planting!

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