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Allergy Season Is Back

Posted by Suzie Canale on Fri, Mar 23, 2018

There’s very little not to love about New England’s spring season when skies become bluer, the air smells sweeter and the temperature rises to a comfortable 72 degrees.  In most cases, people around these parts are automatically put into better moods and seem to enjoy the days a bit more once the ice and snow melts away.  Yes, March, April, May and June offer a bright and happy chapter of the calendar with the exception of one tiny problem…ACHOOOOO!!!  Yes, those poor allergy sufferers out there might want an exemption from the spring season and if you’ve ever experienced any of the common symptoms, you’ll have every idea why.  While those with immunity towards environmental pollen might be ticking off the days until they can frolic freely outside once again, this might not be the case for others…  Chest pain, sneezing, headaches, watery eyes, wheezing and sore throats can be a total drag and leave those ailed in complete misery from now until summer rolls over.  


Due to the extensive range of severity in reaction to new growth from trees, grass and flowers, thousands of Bostonians must stay vigilant of keeping their health on track so they don’t wind up in the hospital.  How do we keep those nasty allergies away?  One good start is to know exactly what specific type of species are the most threatening and then do whatever you can to avoid contact.  If you’re unsure of what to look out for, here’s a list of the most common flowers that might be a smart idea to leave out of your weekly order.  If you see something that you’ve always loved but realize it’s in your best interest to avoid, take a look at the right column where I’ve listed substitutions that will still give you your blooming fix.

Common Allergy Inducers 










If you're looking a less chemical soother than Clairitin, my husband swears by Simply Saline for his allergies. 


Tags: Spring, Health, Allergies

Allergies and Flowers

Posted by Suzie Canale on Wed, Mar 22, 2017

At certain times of the year, allergies are at their worst here in New England and many suffer from ailments such as running nose, watery eyes, scratchy throats and other unpleasant woes. Pollen from flowers, the re-sprouting of grass and re-budding of trees are only a few of the sources that cause discomfort for those inflicted by allergic reactions.  I’m one of the lucky ones who aren’t affected in the slightest by seasonal changes that induce environmental changes having to do with flora and fauna.  




Photo credit: via

As florists, we should be aware of these common issues with our product and always ask customers if there are any issues they may have towards certain plants and flowers.  Roses can be a big one but many designers are unaware that several other typically used species can be problematic for sensitive customers.  No matter if the season is winter, fall, spring or summer, flower industry employees should be well educated in order to promote the health and happiness of our clientele.  After a little research, here’s what I found to avoid for those who fall within this category.  


Birch: I know this may not seem like a flower or plant (it’s a tree) but it’s used in abundance within holiday centerpieces and bouquets.  Birch grows in a beautiful white covering of bark but many people are allergic to this branching and can cause serious reactions just by touching the outer skin.  Try using pine as a substitution because it’s cheaper, festive and possesses a nice aromatic scent.


Goldenrod:  Man- unless you want to hang a sign on your door that says “Allergy Sufferers Beware”, you might want to nix the spring bloom during May and June.  It’s inexpensive and easy to find but the pollen that’s omitted from the stem and head is enough to put a person in the hospital if they’re sensitive.  Try using euphorbia or another pretty yellow product that has half the pollen and just as much impact on your arrangements.


Wisteria:  Wisteria is a tough one to say “no” to because its elegance can be such an asset to an event’s flower planning but if there’s a chance of making someone sick, you’re going to have to find a replacement.  Wisteria is one of the worst flowers for allergies although the delicate flowers and stunning stem formation want you to put it everywhere, especially in weddings.    The gorgeous white and purple blossoms can cause major reactions specifically a swelling of the throat to name one of he more serious effects.


Top Flowers to Avoid:  It’s really hard to scratch off some of these beautiful flowers from your buying list when considering allergic reactions but these are some of the more serious ones to look out for.  Mountain Thistle can bring about terrible irritation of the eyes if made contact with and a lily’s odor can make a person sneeze for hours.  Other species to be vigilant about are roses, zinnias, pansies, petunias, crocuses, columbine, verbena and geraniums.  

Tags: Flowers, Gardens, Health, Allergies

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