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There are limits to what you can do in the garden when you suffer from hay fever

By Nina Steele 

GardeningIn a recent article, columnist Grace Dent, who is childfree, bemoans the fact that her garden is in a sorry state. I read her article with great interest, since our garden was also in a sorry state when we purchased our current house, back in 2012.

Before moving into this house, we lived in a maisonette, on the top floor, and even though we did have a garden then, the fact that we had to go down a flight of stairs to get to it, didn’t make gardening so appealing. Now, with this house, gardening is something I do on a regular basis.

As previously mentioned, the garden was in a sorry state when we first moved in. After many trips to the garden centre and hours of planting and watering, we’ve managed to turn it around, although we are still far from having the perfect lawn. Also, no amount of watering could save an old conifer that was there when we moved in. Years of neglect have finally taken their toll.

The garden was bare to say the least. The grass and the now dead conifer where the only things left. I planted shrubs alongside both sides of the fence. I was so keen to see more greenery as soon as possible that I bought commercially grown plants, as opposed to seeds. They cost more, but at least it meant that we didn’t have to wait years for results. They are all fully established now, needing minimal care, except for the necessary pruning that takes place a few times a year.

I didn’t know much about gardening and had to read up about the dos and don’ts. My husband on the other hand knows a fair bit and advised me as and when I needed it. Well, he still does. He deals with cutting the shrubs to size, while I do all the planting, watering and clipping.

Until recently, I also cut the grass, but as a hay fever sufferer I decided it was no longer a good idea, particularly during the hay fever season, between March and September. I have suffered from hay fever for many years and I don’t know how it didn’t occur to me earlier that cutting the grass was making things worse.

It didn’t take long to notice the impact of no longer cutting the grass. Since then, my hay fever has improved. Before that, I had already switched from antihistamine tablets to a steroid based nasal spray, which also helped a great deal. Unless my hay fever completely disappears, I cannot see myself going back to cutting the grass again during those hay fever months.

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