At this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show (May 22-26) the Royal College of Pathologists will showcase which plants to choose when creating a garden area to minimize the risk of respiratory allergies such as hay fever and asthma caused by exposure to wind-borne plant pollens.


As well as low allergen plants, the garden will also contain a selection of plants to avoid and despite being the wettest April on record, the Royal College of Pathologists team have been busy using artificial heat and light sources to coax the plants into bloom in time to exhibit at the show.

Dr Tim Wreghitt who is heading up the Royal College of Pathologist’s team said: hydrangeaveryone knows someone with an allergy. Based on a rooftop garden in central London, our exhibit aims to help gardeners and developers of garden spaces to pick the right plants to minimise allergies. Our garden will show that whilst plants such wallflowers, lavender and ornamental grasses are best avoided, there are still a wide variety of plants and flowers people can plant for a low allergen garden.”


“Good” plants for a low allergen garden include: Choysia (Choysia ‘Aztec Pearl’ – top image), Geraniums (Geranium spp – bottom image), Hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla – middle image), Japanese Maple (Acer palmatum cultivar) and Periwinkle (Vinca minor).

“Bad” plants to avoid include: Globe Thistle (Echinops ritro) , Himalayan Birch (Betula utilis), Ivy (Hedera helix spp), Lavender (Lavandula spp), Ornamental grasses (Hakonechloa macra ‘Aureola’) and Wallflowers (Festuca glauca).