Flowers can add great show to a party; that special splash of color. Besides being beautiful seasons, fall and spring have such striking seasonal flowers. But though the flowers are beautiful, that special splash can be the enemy of someone with severe pollen allergies. It’s hard to forgo flowers just because someone “might” have an allergy, but if you know about an allergy before hand, it would be courteous to skip or alter the flowers. So what can you do for your centerpiece or that extra show?
Though it may sound odd, you can do a beautiful arrangement with fruit or vegetables. Depending on the season and the party, this type of centerpiece can be as breathtaking as flowers. If it is an autumn party, decorate with gourds and pumpkins. There are so many varieties now, including white and green pumpkins and the range of sizes is huge. Guests can even take them home as favors. Fruit carving has become very popular, as are edible fruit arrangements. A simple bowl of one type of seasonal fruit is always eye-catching in its simplicity; try a big bowl of shiny apples in the fall or bright citrus in the winter.
If a party isn’t a party to you without flowers, opt for “low allergy” varieties. Discuss this with your florist, he can help you with suggestions and putting together what meets your needs. Some good choices are roses, hydrangeas, camellias and orchids. Many of the florist flowers have been bred to be low pollen as opposed to the ones we grow in our yards. Stay away from daisies and flowers in the daisy family as well as certain types of wildflower, like goldenrod. Anything in the ragweed family is going to be very high in pollen.
Though spring and fall are gorgeous times of the year, for those with allergies, they’re not so enjoyable. You may want to consider an indoor option for your outdoor party, a room or two in your house where guests can be comfortable. If you are having your party outside, be aware not only of the plants, but also of the insects around you. Take some time before the party (if it is at your house) and check the area for any bee or wasp nests, and dispose of them properly. Also check for fire ant hills and try to get rid of them as well.
While you are preparing your yard to be insect free, go ahead and mow the lawn two or three days before the party, making sure your mower has a good cutting catcher with it. Dispose of the cuttings, of course. This will get rid of a great deal of the pollen that has accumulated on the grass.
No one wants to sneeze their way through a party, and the purpose of the host is to provide an enjoyable function for the guests. Use these tips, plus some good common sense mixed with a little creativity, and you have the makings for a great party for all your guests to enjoy.
- Heather Legg