Emerging …

January 4, 2019

rhubarb shoots

It’s probably way too early to get excited about this – what with the bulk of the winter still to go – but it turns out that if you want to murder rhubarb, dismembering it with a mattock and burying it alive in horseshit is not particularly effective.

rhubarb shoots

We won’t be able to harvest it until next year, but as I suspect 2019 will be one of those ‘take your good news where you can find it’ years (see also, 2016, 2017, 2018) I’m posting this now before it has a chance to go pearshaped.

rhubarb shoots

Asparagus next …


Crowning Glory

November 16, 2018

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Perfect for riding down for the paper (despite the fact that by the time I had bought it, it was already wildly out of date.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 …

Rhubarb Rhubarb

May 1, 2013

We had my parents to stay last night and I was just wondering what we might do for pudding when I came across this in the flowerbed at the back and remembered it was rhubarb season…


When it comes to growing your own, rhubarb – at least our rhubarb – feels a bit like cheating. It was already in the garden when we arrived and it just seems to magically come up every year without me doing anything. According to the RHS, the main thing when growing rhubarb is to make sure it gets plenty of water in the summer which, frankly, is not a problem around here. Apart from that, all you have to do is go out whenever you want some rhubarb and pull as many stems as you need. It’s not so much being a rhubarb grower, as being some sort of specialised rhubarb pest.

rhubarbThe only problem is that I’ve gone from not really liking rhubarb on the grounds that it sounded a bit school-dinnerish to discovering it’s rather yummy. The other half makes rhubarb pickle which he’s quite keen on, and last night we had rhubarb and ginger crumble which was delicious and now we’ve realised we are going to need more of it. Possibly my policy of benign neglect may have to be revised – I have even been letting it flower because it’s in the flowerbed and it’s quite spectacular when it does, but a quick google suggests I’m dicing with disaster there and that any real gardeners out there will have just had a sharp intake of breath on reading that. Clearly I’m going to have to do this properly: digging it up, splitting the crown, manuring, mulching well, and then discovering next spring that I’ve got no rhubarb at all …