Shock horror. For the first time in my life I have had an allergic skin reaction to a plant. This is technically known as phytodermatitis; however, as it was during the really hot weather, it then becomes ‘phytophotodermatitis’ – a skin irritant that is exacerbated by sunlight.
Hogweed is the most common culprit of this rash-causing condition but there wasn’t any in the area. We were planting Jungle-type plants like Rheum, Gunnera and Macleaya so it must have been one of those hairy leaved blighters. I’ll be wearing long sleeves next time.
And Tippy has also been plagued by plant life this week too. A high pollen count as the fields around the cottage are being cut for hay, has made her lung condition worse (hence her being in a rucksack for a mountain hike) and she has been wheezing like an old woman.
Remember that animals are also susceptible to climatic and environmental conditions from allergies to insect bites – a neighbours pigs even suffered from sun stroke last week!