Twenty Eight days until spring and the pollinators return, Are you ready???
Book Review “The Allergy-Fighting Garden”
by Thomas Leo Ogren
The Allergy-Fighting Garden Reviewed by Kenneth Wilson “The Gardening Whisperer”.
This review is prepared to be on www.Gadeneningwhisperer.com. This book was written by Thomas Leo Ogren, 2015 and edited by Lisa Regul of Ten Speed Press.
Thomas has a Masters Degree in Agricultural Science with an emphasis on plant flowering systems and their relationships to allergy. He is the creator of (OPALS) or the Ogren Plant Allergy Scale. He has been a teacher, business owner, landscaper, has been on TV. He has written many books and articles about plants and allergies. His whole career has been given to helping those with allergies.
I have learned a lot in my many years in horticulture and thought I had figured out a lot of answers until I read Tom Ogren’s book about Allergies. In the beginning, he lays out the dilemma about allergies he noticed that his wife’s asthma attacks happened when her allergies were at their worst and pollen was everywhere. He then isolated the plants that were producing the major pollen problems and then started to design a yard without the male pollen spores and used female plants that would attract and hold the pollen so it did not blow about causing problems. He has written several books and has been seen on television on several programs. He established the (OPALS) scale or the (Ogren, Pollen, Allergy Scale), which rates from one (1) to ten (10) the severity of a plant to be an irritant that would cause allergies to humans. He uses several variables to determine this number.
He describes how pollen and allergy have been on the increase in the United States and how the practices of horticulturists have increased the number of pollen grains flying around. His explanation is that the drive to produce more male plants so as to reduce female plants so there is less trash to pick up under female trees. The increase of male trees which has added more pollen and fewer female trees to grab hold of the pollen has added immensely the amount of air-born pollen. His explanation of how a plant is pollinated is excellent and he lists some of the major plants that are wind-pollinated. He gives advice on establishing a plant screen to help reduce the amount of flying pollen.
At the end of the book, Tom has included in this book are one thousand plus plant and their (OPALS) number. It contains all types of plants, trees, shrubs, grasses, annuals, and perennials this is very helpful in designing your allergy-free garden. Unfortunately, there are many plants in the United States and this list is only a start.
It is an excellent book and must be read to think about what other horticulture practices are doing to unbalance the environment. These practices may also affect the pollination balance with native plants thus affecting bee problems.
Get yourself a copy of “T
he Allergy-Fighting Garden” by Thomas Leo Ogren and enlighten yourself.
©Ken Wilson Gardening Whisperer 2016
As told by Tree Frog:
It is only One (1) more days until Groundhogs Day, so what. Why silly people have been using a Ground Hog or whatever they can find to predict the coming of spring and fresh flowers. Their guesswork is based on years of practice and refining. A tradition from the Pennsylvania German as it’s called Grundsaudaag or Murmeltiertag is celebrated on February 2. If it is cloudy when a groundhog emerges from its burrow on this day, then spring will come early; if it is sunny, the groundhog will supposedly see its shadow and retreat back into its burrow, and the winter weather will persist for six more weeks.
The human’s dress in their funny costumes and old hats only to get bitten by a cranky groundhog that wants no part of their ancient traditions only to be left alone so he can go back into his winter borrow until its spring. Why humans do not look at a calendar to know it probably will be about six weeks more until spring I do not know.
As for me, I rely on the small flies and insects to predict spring. When they are flying I am filling my stomach. As the temperature warms, I start to warm and so do the insects. I start catching my lunch as they fly by. It is the best time of the year unless some stupid human misused insecticides last year and killed my lunch, which will be bad for me. Humans just disrupt nature to please themselves with no regard for what is going on around them.
The weatherman here is calling for rain so maybe we will have an early spring. Whatever happens on groundhogs day and his shadow, the flavor of the day at Culver’s is Twix Mix. Have a happy Ground Hogs Day.