The Allergy-Fighting Garden by Thomas Leo Ogren – Book Review
By Thomas Leo Ogren
Ten Speed Press
Paperback, 256 pages
The Allergy-Fighting Garden by Thomas Leo Ogren is the definitive book on plants, pollen, and allergies in our country. People who suffer from allergies and asthma will find this book to be an invaluable resource when planning and designing their property.
This book is a culmination of more than 30 years of research, updating Mr. Ogren’s first two books, Allergy-Free Gardening (published in 2000), and Safe Sex in the Garden (published in 2003).
The Allergy-Fighting Garden is divided into two parts and contains a glossary, recommended readings, useful websites, a pollen calendar, and the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone map.
The first part of the book is enlightening and very easy to understand. In six chapters, Mr. Ogren explains plant botany and how it relates to pollen and allergies, the reason for the increase in pollen and allergies over the years, and steps people can take to reduce pollen, as well as allergy-causing mold spores in their gardens, schools, and communities.
The second part lists over 3,000 plants by scientific and common name. Each plant is given an OPALS numerical number. Mr. Ogren, a horticulturist with a Master’s degree in agricultural science, first introduced OPALS (the Ogren Plant Allergy Scale) over 20 years ago. Using more than 130 factors, such as the amount of pollen produced; the potency of the pollen; how long the plant is in bloom; and the size, gravity, and consistency of the pollen grains, he assigns each plant an allergy ranking number with 1 being the least allergenic and 10 being the most.
Equally important, for each plant he provides a brief description and the USDA Plant Hardiness zone. Because there are over 3,000 plants, covering the full range of trees, shrubs, perennials, annuals, and tropicals, it is important to include hardiness zones so people know which plant would survive in their area or zone.
The book is 247 pages, of which 174 pages, or 70 percent, are dedicated to the A-Z list of plants and their OPALS rating. Many plants have corresponding color photos.
I highly recommend this book for those who suffer from allergies and asthma, as well as healthcare professionals who treat those who suffer from allergies and asthma, and all professionals involved in landscape design, urban planning, school administration, and even the colleges and universities with a horticulture curriculum.
As the title suggests, The Allergy-Fighting Garden provides the tools, the purpose, and the urgent need to change the environment for the better.
Where to Buy
The Allergy-Fighting Garden is available on Amazon, as well as through select book stores.
And now over to you – What’s your favorite new gardening book? Let us know in the comments below.
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See Our Other Book Reviews
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- Grow a Little Fruit Tree: Simple Pruning Techniques for Small-Space, Easy-Harvest Fruit Trees by Ann Ralph
- The Right-Size Flower Garden: Simplify Your Outdoor Space with Smart Design Solutions and Plant Choices by Kerry Ann Mendez
Disclaimer – GPReview would like to thank Mr. Ogren for giving us a free book to review. There was no expectation that it would be a positive review and we received no compensation for writing it. All opinions expressed here are those of the author based on personal experience using the product.
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