Crowning Glory

It’s been a funny old day, and not just the way the government appears to be disintegrating before our eyes. After alternating days of apocalyptic rain and bright sunshine we had a strangely mild, still, murky sort of a day, with rather tasty pearly light breaking through the clouds.

November light

Perfect for riding down for the paper (despite the fact that by the time I had bought it, it was already wildly out of date. A week is no longer a long time in politics, frankly; six hours is) although it was positively sweaty riding back.

I have loads of stuff that should be keeping me chained to the laptop, but this mild spell was also too good an opportunity to miss in the garden so I took a short break to get on with the next phase of the veg plot – the rhubarb bed. I’d already dug out the bed and sourced some rhubarb via the very splendid New Nearest Village freecycle list but I wasn’t entirely sure I’d planted them right. The rhubarb had outstayed its welcome in a garden up the road and had been dug out with a mattock. It didn’t look particularly convincing (are rhubarb crowns supposed to have roots attached?) and I’d shoved it in the new bed in a bit of a hurry. After a bit of googling (always good to check how to plant something AFTER you’ve planted it …) I decided to hoick it out and plant it a little deeper before the hard frosts came. This may or may not be a good idea as Google also suggests rhubarb hates to be disturbed, but then again, it probably hates being dug up and dismembered with a mattock – well don’t we all – and that doesn’t seem to stop it.

Either way, it’s showing signs of life already. Hopefully not to be cruelly cut down by the first frosts.

rhubarb shoots

Next step will be the asparagus bed, which I’m expecting will require a little more care and attention, if only because I’ll probably have to actually pay for asparagus crowns, unlike the rhubarb. Unfortunately, the googling I’ve done so far suggests we may simply end up expensively feeding the hares. I may have to reinstate my hare defences …

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6 Responses to Crowning Glory

  1. Charles says:

    Try lurking around rustic garden centres, they tend to pot up crowns that they have not sold in order to sell them on next season. If you ask around you may pick some up cheaper than you imagine, I was pleasantly surprised. It still sat looking like a supermodel, thin and elegant all summer, I am hoping for some more substantial stems this year I have been feeding it and hopefully it will be more substantial. I hasten to add that it could well have been a male supermodel as the dreaded asparagus has two sexes and the female ones are preferred as they are more substantial as they have to carry the seeds so are more solid.

    Having pushed the limits of horticultural decency I shall now depart.

  2. disgruntled says:

    I think it’s the male ones that are preferred, isn’t it? According to the RHS anyway https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?PID=310

  3. Mattock is the tool of choice in the Uphilldowndale house, Tom bought us one for Christmas (I think there was an ulterior motive of building mountain bike trails with it) Tom is now in NZ spending his working day surrounded by bikes, he is very happy. Younger brother Joe has taken up the mantle of wielder of the mattock, I just point at shrub/tree root to be removed and off he goes, ‘declaring the mattock to be ‘the best tool ever ‘ as he is studying civil engineering, his builds may take a while…

  4. disgruntled says:

    Ha! The pleasure of the right tool for the right job

  5. We have a thriving rhubarb plant that has moved home and owners at least 3 times to our knowledge. One of those moves was into a large bucket where it got ignored for several months. It certainly is a determined plant 😉

  6. disgruntled says:

    I’m working on the assumption that rhubarb is essentially unkillable

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