Tom Ogren and the story of allergy free gardening

It is over 30 years since Californian horticulturist Tom Ogren first realised that certain plants were directly responsible for some allergic symptoms. Since then he has fought a lonely campaign to get this message out – a campaign that has included rating over 3,000 plants on a scale of 1 to 10 for their potential allergenicity.

Now, 30 years later, his work is coming to fruition and arboriculturalists, city planners, garden designers and allergy sufferers are realising that there is much that they can do to reduce the allergenic fallout from their environments – they just need to do it!

On a recent visit to the UK Tom talked to editor, Michelle Berriedale Johnson about how he first came to understand the role of plants in allergy and where we are now in the campaign to manage that connection.

If you want to see Tom 'in action', watch this video in which he and Michelle survey the FoodsMatter garden for allergenicity and Tom advises on how this could be reduced.

To hear Tom talk about the lethal combination of pollen and diesel fumes, watch this video.

For all of Tom's books, including the OPALS Allergy Rating Scale, see his website, Allergy Free Gardening or buy his Allergy-Fighitng Garden which includes all 3,000 plants on the OPALS scale.

March 2018

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