We have FIVE brilliant children's gardening kits to give away plus handy hints for avoiding hay fever and allergies in the garden

As families are encouraged to get out into the garden and get their youngsters growing food and flowers instead of going to play in the park, some parents are worried that this could exacerbate any existing childhood allergies.

Now writer, designer and allergy expert Jackie herald has come up with a series of measures to help reduce allergic reactions.


She said: “Many people who love gardening suffer from hay fever , but the good news is that gardens can be designed to reduce exposure to allergenic pollens and mould spores.

“The less children sneeze and wheeze, the more fun they’ll have, and while Coronavirus exists, avoiding itchy eyes is very important –to prevent the natural instinct of rubbing one’s face.”

Garden designer and author Jackie Herald has devised a gardening strategy and activities for parents with allergy-prone children

Jackie’s five-point plan, which she has devised for a Back to the Garden campaign launched by Sudocrem, includes minimizing allergens, choosing the right time of year to garden, choosing bee-friendly plants that often produce less irritating pollen, handling compost with care and keeping grass short to reduce lawn pollen.

Her initiative also includes a Gardening Made Easy plan, available online until the end of this month, that’s packed with suggestions for gardening and growing with children. The fun activities include making a paper pot, growing herbs and peas, and making a bug hotel. You can find it at https://www.sudocrem.co.uk/gardening-made-easy/

She said: “You can minimize allergens that affect you by keeping gardening clothes separate from other garments to avoid transferring pollen, and wearing a brimmed hat.

“Pollen counts are at their highest at the beginning and end of the day, so avoid garden playtime and energetic exercise at these times.”

Allergic reactions to pollen and grass can include sneezing, runny nose, itchy eyes and skin rashes

She added that bee-friendly plants with tubular flowerheads usually have sticky, heavy pollen that’s hard to breathe in and less likely to cause a reaction, but that spores and moulds in leafmould and compost can trigger reactions.

“Either do the job when it’s raining, wear a facemask or ask someone without allergies to spread the compost,”said Jackie.


“For gardening with children, wherever possible use a low allergen mulch rather than organic compost and come autumn, avoid the temptation of kicking leaves about!

“The key is to have fun outdoors, though children suffering from eczema should avoid rolling in the grass, which may cause a rash.”

Great AG giveaway!

We have teamed up with Michael Holland, the former head gardener at Chelsea Physic garden, and antiseptic cream manufacturers Sudocrem to give away five children’s gardening kits as part of their Back to the Garden campaign.

We are giving away five children’s gardening kits o five lucky readers

The kits contain a child-size trowel and fork, T shirt, gloves, seeds, stickers and a little pots of Sudocrem, all in a handy fabric bag to keep them together.

Michael said: “It’s been good to see a return to activities like gardening during this unusual period.

“Encouraging your children to plant seeds and take an interest in growing can give them a long-term project to focus on, away from the computer. And the good news is, you don’t need a garden to get involved: creating a window box full of edible herbs can be just as inspiring as digging a vegetable patch.”

For a chance of bagging one of the children’s gardening kits email your name, address and postcode to competitions@satellitepr.com with Amateur Gardening giveaway in the subject bar.


We are here for you

Although lockdown is easing, many people are still confined to their homes or concerned about going out because they are vulnerable to catching C19.

Here at AG we appreciate that and are doing our best to keep connected with our readers though the magazine, this website and also through social media.

John Negus is AG‘s long-standing problem solver

Our gardening ‘agony uncle’John Negus is also still working hard. Send him your problems and questions, with pictures if you can, and he will get back to you with an answer within 24 hours, as he has been doing for decades. Contact him using the AG email address at: amateurgardening@ti-media.com


We already have thriving Facebook page but are also on Twitter and Instagram. These sites are a brilliant way of chatting to people, sharing news, information, pictures and just saying hello –we will get back to you as soon as we can.

Best of all, as gardeners are generally lovely folk, more interested in plants, hedgehogs, tea and cake than political shenanigans and point-scoring, so the chat is friendly and welcoming.

You can find us at:

Facebook: Facebook.com/AmateurGardeningMagazine

Twitter: Twitter.com/TheAGTeam

Instagram: instagram.com/amgardening_mag

So please drop by, follow us, ‘like’our posts and say hello –we will reply as soon as we can. Happy gardening!