During the late 1800s and early 1900s, as American cities grew increasingly polluted and crowded, wealthy Americans started retreating to clean, spacious suburban settings. Once there, they hired landscapers who planted bucolic gardens where people could walk in peace, see flowers and trees, and breathe clean, fresh air.
They may have gotten what they wanted in terms of peace and beauty, but the air wasn’t quite up to snuff. Although it didn’t carry the stench of garbage, disease, or manufacturing, it did carry something else they didn’t want: lots of pollen. Those cultivated vistas helped make hay fever an ever-growing affliction.
Still, nobody wanted to get rid of the gardens. So they prospered, and people continued to spread throughout the country, building new homes and roads and railways, and planting more flowers and trees. And allergies got worse.
In the end, it wasn’t so much what people planted, but the… More…