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Allergic to Scented Plants?

Allergic to Scented Plants?

Allergies can be exacerbated by plants just ask a hayfever sufferer. Pollen and strong scent often combine together and beware of allergic reactions to your garden plants.


Plants to be Wary Of

Asthma sufferers often complain that it is the scented garden plants that bring out the condition.
Generally it is the heavily fragrant flowers but sometimes it is a single species such as Honeysuckle that cause the problem.
Lilies like the Lilium Regale are one of the best scented flowers but one of the worst culprits for allergies.
The Dianthus family of Carnations, Sweet Williams and Pinks with a spicy scent are known to bring on hay fever.
Although generally unscented, many flowers from the Asteraceae or Daisy family seem to be allergenically toxic to many people. If you suffer then it is best to exclude members of this large family including Asters, Chrysanthemums, Marigolds and other similar looking flowers.
Avoid ornamental grasses heavy in pollen.


Top Low Allergy Flowers

  • Aromatic plants which smell due to essential oils are less likely to cause some allergies but if you are very sensitive it is best to avoid Herbs, Lavender and Eucalyptus. Or at least do not inhale bruised leaves.
  • Winter heather Erica Carnea in white and pink can look stunning from Autumn through winter.
  • Geraniums such as the perennial cranesbill, Johnsons Blue is my favourite.
  • Climbing roses can be a problem but Iceberg has a low level of scent and I have seen Handel and Rambling Rector also recommended.
  • Fuchsia magellanica are available in many varieties
  • Hydrangea macrophylla including cultivars  Ayesha, and Madame Emille Mouillere plus Lacecap varieties give you a wide choice of large flowerheads.
  • Orchids as houseplants have cause allergic reaction.

Todmorden 055

Allergic advice from Thompson Morgan
If you have hay fever, asthma or severe allergies, you should avoid eating flowers of the daisy family because they could trigger an allergic reaction. Take care when choosing a location for mushroom growing as some people are allergic to mushrooms or mushroom spores and others may become sensitised by high concentrations of spores.

Growing Top Ten Patio Roses

Growing Top Ten Patio Roses


What is a Patio Rose if it isn’t a rose grown on a patio?
Patio roses grow bigger and bushier than miniatures and are about 14 -24 inch high, yet they are perfectly formed. H.T. Bush and Floribunda roses grow bigger but Patio roses are easy and decorative.

Patio Roses are easy for growing in small spaces and can be useful in many other garden locations. They can be grown in containers and pots or just planted near your front door.

Easy Places to Grow Patio Roses

Edging plants in front of other plants or in a narrow border on their own.
Some varieties make an attractive small hedge.
They all look well planted in groups 3-5-7 of each variety.
They are not house plants and are as hardy as larger roses.
Patio Roses are great for tubs and containers but remember to feed, water and mulch them.
Combined with summer bedding plants they will flower all summer long.

Patio Rose - Birthday Wishes

Growing Tips For Patio Roses

Minimum pruning in late February or March will help keep them tidy.
Plant in full sun for the best show.
They are of course totally hardy and being perennials will appear year after year.
Roses are outdoor plants and do not survive in the house.

More information from Amazon in ‘Growing Miniature and Patio Roses’ by Dawn and Barry Eagle £6.99

Rose in our patio in Berwick upon Tweed

Top Ten Repeat flowering Patio Roses

Some special varieties providing a great display of colour and scent include:

  1. Loving Wishes A free flowering rose with good disease resistance and scented, scarlet-red blooms
  2. Golden Wishes The flowers are golden yellow with a slight fragrance and 14″ tall
  3. Flower Power produces peach-salmon blooms with a spicy scent
  4. Golden Anniversary Large fragrant golden rounded flowers with yellow centres from summer to autumn. Upright bush habit.
  5. Red or Yellow Sunblaze,
  6. Sweet Dreams, or  Sweet Magic,
  7. Charmant,
  8. Flirt,
  9. Diamond Wishes
  10. One of the smaller varieties is not surprisingly called Peter Pan.

There seems to be a named patio rose for most birthday and anniversary event if you shop around – that is modern marketing for you.

More information from Amazon in ‘Growing Miniature and Patio Roses’ by Dawn and Barry Eagle £6.99

See also Top Ten Old Roses

Patio rose by Charles D P Miller CC BY 2.0
Patio Rose – Birthday Wishes by jovike CC BY-NC 2.0
Rose in our patio in Berwick upon Tweed by Karen V Bryan CC BY-ND 2.0

Garden Scents in Yorkshire

Garden Scents in Yorkshire

The aroma of success is geared to plant selection and location when planting out.


It is easier to capture colour in the garden than to capture scent but scents can stay in the memory evocatively and vividly. As with most gardening a little forethought can help you get far better results from a similar amount of effort.

Getting The Best Garden Scent

  • Choose plants that are known for their scent. Lighter coloured varieties often have more or better perfume.
  • Scent is best when the pollinating insects are at their most active and that often means in the evening particularly for those pollinated by moths.
  • Plant several identical plants together and try not to mix strong scents in the same area as they will conflict.
  • Scent is best sampled on a warm, calm still day and you can help this by designing recesses, arbors, pergolas and hedges to create the still  environment.
  • Aromatic leaves and herbs should be slightly crushed to get the best scent. Do not be afraid to touch plants.
  • Even bark can have a scent like cedarwood (Cedrus atlantica), Juniper virginiana or Betula pendula (Birch).
  • Choose plants for succession Winter Jasmine, Hyacinths for spring, Lily of the Valley in May and Roses for June as examples.

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Growing Hesperis matronalis Alba

Growing Hesperis matronalis Alba

Hesperis matronalis Alba

Hesperis is a hardy biennial that flowers in blue, purple or white. It is easy to grow from seed and flowers through summer.

  • The main charm is the scent that you get in an evening from the masses of 18″-36″ high plants.
  • Ideal for the middle of borders, Cottage Gardens, Wild Gardens or a Wildlife Garden.
  • Charming large spikes of single flowers attract hoverflies and insects.

Sowing and Growing Instructions

  • Optimum Germination Temperature: 60-65F (15-18C).
  • Sowing Depth: 1/8 Inch (3 mm).
  • Sow in late spring/early summer  thin out or  plant out in their flowering positions in early autumn.
  • Space the plants 30cm (12in) apart in full sun or part shade.
  • Plants self-sow freely in good soil.

Seeds are available to plant now from Thompson Morgan

Gardening Look Up & Look Down

Gardening Look Up & Look Down

hellebore niger

Hellebore niger seem later this year or is it just me? Either way you need to get down on your knees to see the best of the Hellebore flowers as they tend to hang the flower-heads to hide their modesty.

  • Grow Hellebores on raised beds or sloping banks so you have a chance to see the flowers.
  • Pick the flowers for a vase and see their intricacy close up.
  • Plant Helleborus x sternii ‘Blackthorn’ with the upright growth habit of Helleborus argutifolius or Helleborus ‘Boughton Beauty’, Helleborus ‘Rachel’ and Helleborus ‘Winter’s Grace’. Suggestions from
  • Helleborus foetidus the stinking Hellebore is upright with a green flower.

Witch Hazel

After scenting the flowers of the Witch Hazel look up and see the glorious patterns they form against a blue sky. Fortunately there are generally masses of bloom before the leaves appear and you can see patterns of petals from numerous buds.

  • The flower colour, particularly in the hybrids can range from pale yellow, orange through to red and many of them have good scent, from sweet to spicy.
  • A  good photographic display of the following can be found on Witch Hazel nursery Hamamelis x intermedia, Hamamelis japonica, Hamamelis mollis, Hamamelis vernalis and Hamamelis virginiana.
How to Prune Rambling Roses.

How to Prune Rambling Roses.

Rambling Rose

Rambling roses tend to flower only once a year (not once a season as I once heard). Therefore it pays to optimise the flowering for next summer by judicious pruning and training.

Gardeners Tips for Pruning Rambling Roses

  • Prune from November to February, ramblers are pruned earlier than most other roses.
  • Choose a still day or the branches will lash into you and the thorns can hurt. This is a job where protective clothing including a face mask may be worthwhile.
  • Use sharp secateurs and a pruning saw for thick stems.
  • Remove dead, dying or diseased wood and any stems that cut across one another. This improves air flow and reduces the chance of disease.
  • With ramblers you are aiming to replace upto 3 older stems from the base and to encourage new growth that replaces them. Best blooms flower on this new growth.
  • The newer olive-green stems should be supple enough to bend and they should be tied in or coiled around upright supports. This bending restricts sap flow and encourages more flowers so it is worth spending some time on.
  • Ramblers are vigorous so reduce the laterals if you need too.
  • Clean up all the debris after pruning.
Scented Phlox Give Gardens Aroma

Scented Phlox Give Gardens Aroma

What is the flower that groups of people look at and sheep meet in ? Well it has to be Phlox and in this case the perennial Phlox paniculata.

Top Variety Tips

  • Only 3 feet tall but the pure white Phlox of Mount Fuji earns its AGM. the flaring petals open out from twisted buds to form clusters of flat white scented flowers.
  • Another AGM winner is Bright Eyes with pale pink flowers having a deeper red centre. The foliage may take on the red tinge during summer and it grows to about 4 feet tall.
  • Phlox paniculata ‘Dodo Hanbury-Forbes’ AGM just for its name or Blue Ice or Blue Paradise to balance up the colour scheme.
  • Alpine phlox can also be strongly scented try Pholx divaricata

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Skunk Cabbage for the Waterside Lysichiton americanus

Skunk Cabbage for the Waterside Lysichiton americanus


American Skunk Cabbage Lysichiton americanus is planted in groups along the streamside at the Valley Garden Harrogate. Over the years the plants have seeded themselves freely and now make a fantastic display covering the full length of the stream and beyond. The yellow flame-shaped flowers really called spathes, are 18 inches high and look magnificent reflected in the water in April and May. Then the flowers are followed by enormous paddle-shaped, leathery green leaves which remain until dieing back in autumn.
Lysichiton camschatcensis has a hypnotic white spathe and lime green flowering head and a cross between the two species produces a cream spathe (I like to call a spathe a spathe). This spathe surrounds a cigar shaped stem called the spadix which bears many small, bisexual green flowers.

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