A Wonderful Old Pittsburgh House.

Three years ago we bought a wonderful old Pittsburgh house. It was built by Mellon (the Pittsburgh billionaire) for his butler, in 1908. It is on a wonderful city block full of playful children. In front of our house are several aggressive bushes with leaves, which are actually quite flimsy and charmless; they actually seem more like weeds to me. Every summer I have cut back these bushes and by the end of the summer they are once again omnipresent.

I also do tons of other gardening and regularly remove some tiny patches of typical looking poison ivy at the rear of our yard. Every year, no matter how careful I am, I contract horrendous poison ivy dermatitis! And this year was no different! I had the poison ivy for many weeks!

This year I read your site and several others and I discovered that it was not the patch of poison ivy in the rear which gives me the outbreak. It is the "mysterious bushes" right at the front of my lawn, ever so faithfully landscaped by me, overlapping often onto the sidewalk, all summer long!

(Editor's note: the photo is not the from the actual house; I put it there to remind viewers that poison ivy can form a good-sized shrub.)