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Low Allergen Garden


Supported by Asthma UK, the Low Allergen Garden won a Silver-Gilt Medal at the 1996 RHS Chelsea Flower Show, and is now a permanent feature at Capel Manor Gardens.

More than five million people in the UK have asthma, which, like hay fever, can be set off by a reaction to many different allergens – including pollens and mould spores – that originate from the garden. This space is designed to help all those who suffer from asthma and/or hay fever to get more enjoyment from their outside spaces. The Low Allergen Garden demonstrates a few simple measures that can be taken to lessen exposure to allergens and thereby help reduce the severity of asthma and hay fever symptoms.

The Garden was originally designed by Lucy Huntingdon, a student at Capel Manor College, and had a planting redesign in 2008 by Janet Godley. It adheres to allergy guidelines, which include: the use of insect pollinated plants rather than wind pollinated ones, the avoidance of heavy scented plants, no grass, the use of gravel as a mulch, and groundcover plants to suppress weeds.

Other plants that would work well in a low allergen garden include:

Acanthus, Ajuga reptans, Aruncus dioicus ‘Kneiffi’, Astilbe, Brunnera, Campanula, Delphinium, Diascia, Dicentra, Filipendula, Foeniculum vulgare, Geum, Hemerocallis, Hosta, Houttynia, Iris, Ophiopogon planiscapus, Origanum, Phygelius, Polemonium, Prunella, Salvia, Saxifraga, Scabiosa, Scrophularia, Sisyrinchium, Symphytum, Tellima, Trollius, Veronica, Viola, Parthenocissus quinquefolia, Antirrhinum, Eschscholzia, Impatiens, Mimulus, Nigella, Tropaeolum, Buxus, Cryptomeria, Deutzia, Prunus, Pyrus pendula, Viburnum

Look out for…

Herbaceous plants

  • Alchemilla mollis
  • Aquilegia
  • Astrantia
  • Bergenia
  • Dierama
  • Epimedium
  • Geranium
  • Heuchera
  • Lamium
  • Pensternon
  • Rodgersia
  • Tiarella
  • Tradescantia



  • Clematis
  • Vitis vinifera


Shrubs, conifers and trees

  • Aucuba
  • Cotinus
  • Hebe
  • Hydrangea
  • Nandina
  • Phormium
  • Photinia