Rhubarb Appreciation Society

(996 Posts)

Going with Rhihaf's thread name suggestion, following on from the first rule of gardening club is thread.

Pull up your kneeling pads, crack open the elderberry wine and the blackberry gin and come and join us. No real experience or gardening know-how needed.

Rhubarbgarden Tue 23-Apr-13 20:11:47

Thanks v much!

rhihaf Tue 23-Apr-13 21:33:22

Funny - it's hard, isnt' it? Have a brew and a biscuit, and a Potting Shed hug smile

Maud - well, I say 'livestock', I actually mean two calves, a pig or two now and again, and some geese and ducks...until we eat them. Sorry! It sounds so horrendously callous in print! confused

Dad cut the orchard a fortnight ago for the first time this year and all of a sudden it's burst into life, needs another mow. Spring has truly sprung - my lone tulip in the front border is proof!

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Tue 23-Apr-13 22:25:02

Well, that sounds like livestock to me!

I have done a bit more garden pottering today. I've been tidying up the cold frame was delighted to see that the astrantia Venice that I thought had died last year has sprung back into life, so that will definitely be going into the Venetian bed.

Castlelough Tue 23-Apr-13 23:16:26

Maud tell me more about the Venetian bed. Is it called that because it is Italian-themed? Have been idly pondering it since I came into the potting shed!
I haven't the channel for Gardeners' World, but all the talk of Monty had me digging out his 'The Complete Gardener'. I love this book. Would anyone recommend any of his other books, in particular?
Yes Spring has indeed sprung! My horse is losing his coat in clumps!!! smile

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Tue 23-Apr-13 23:48:47

When I started to plan/design (ha!) that bed, it was going to be bold and jungly, with a red/orange/yellow theme, in a sort of hommage to Christopher Lloyd's Great Dixter. But I soon decided that I didn't like yellow flowers en masse, so the colours changed to red/purple/lime green, what I dubbed my Venetian colour scheme. I'm getting there slowly!

HumphreyCobbler Wed 24-Apr-13 08:34:08

My favourite Monty book is The Ivington Diaries. When we first bought this house we had never owned a garden and this book was a revelation. I kept it by my bed and dreamed of the garden we would have, in that long first summer of spraying away the bindweed and cutting down leylandi and laurel trees.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Wed 24-Apr-13 08:39:25

His town garden book is also lovely, for those of us in the urban sprawl.

MooncupGoddess Wed 24-Apr-13 13:46:31

I just looked up the town garden book on Amazon (but can't find it - do you have the title, Maud?) and found this volume, which might amuse some of you Monty perves fanciers:

www.amazon.co.uk/Sensuous-Garden-Monty-Don/dp/1850298629/

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Wed 24-Apr-13 13:51:00

Urban Jungle, MooncupGoddess. My admiration for Monty is horticultural. Almost entirely.

MooncupGoddess Wed 24-Apr-13 13:55:13

Brilliant, thanks Maud. Have ordered from Amazon. Amusingly it is listed under the considerably less rugged 'Montagu Don', which explains why I couldn't find it.

Rhubarbgarden Wed 24-Apr-13 14:58:24

Arf at Montagu Don! grin

HumphreyCobbler Wed 24-Apr-13 15:55:15

he says that no one in RL calls him Monty grin

Castlelough Wed 24-Apr-13 16:17:14

We must all be on an Amazon spending spree. I ordered Sarah Raven's 'The Cutting Garden'. Hope it is good! How to create and plant a cutting garden .... and also ordered Jane Packer's 'Flower Course' on flower arranging. Birthday money! smile

Castlelough Wed 24-Apr-13 16:17:50

Will not google the Ivington Diaries

Castlelough Wed 24-Apr-13 16:18:22

Do not need any more books

Monty was on Radio 2 earlier talking about a new book. Something to do with French gardens but couldn't really hear over the DDs complaining about what I'd slaved over thrown together for their tea.

Quick spin around the garden earlier; I have the following flowering: daffodils, tulips (just), a solitary but beautiful hellebore, chionodoxa, anemone blanda, muscari, some diddy red & yellow things that I can't remember planting, hyacinths, jasmine, woodland anenome, snakes head fritillary, celandine, forget me knots, daisies and various weeds grin

Rhubarbgarden Wed 24-Apr-13 19:54:13

Ah the French Gardens tv programme was really good. I may have to buy that one.

HumphreyCobbler Wed 24-Apr-13 19:58:31

We are severely lacking in snakes head fritillaries. They are fantastic flowers.

I noticed the muscari are all in full flower now, in the tin bath by the back door. They are the main flower I remember from my childhood - picking them apart bit by bit and getting really sticky fingers.

The snakes heads fritillary are beautiful. I found one in the woods last year and decided I wanted more. I think they've pretty much all come up and look amazing. I put them where I put the bluebells that DH mowed last year.

DH is mowing tomorrow. He has been warned. I will look like this angry if he goes anywhere near that patch!

My daphne is also just starting to flower.

LexyMa Wed 24-Apr-13 22:31:48

I have tulips, daffs, muscari and lots of dandelions in the front garden (south facing sun trap). I have been pulling off the dandelion heads when I go past so they don't get the opportunity to go to seed, and digging them out when I have more time. In the back garden the hellebores are almost over, crocuses all shrivelled, chionodoxa still lovely, daffs rampant, tulips, auriculas and primulas getting into their stride, some shy little vinca flowers appearing (and lots of suckers off the main plant). The iris and allium levels on the rockery are showing strong foliage growth, and the Katherine Hodgkin dwarf irises have done their thing, but I can't find any of the snakes head fritillaries which should be there either. Some lovely alpines are doing well - I totally forget the names - crawling over the stones and softening all the edges.

Over the back fence, the woods have suddenly burst into buds throughout the canopy. It is mainly oak and ash, but a couple of doors down the road there is a small (i.e. young) chestnut over their fence and something white and frothy. The birds are loving it.

MooncupGoddess Wed 24-Apr-13 22:46:07

My forsythia is in full flower, as is a fine pink-bloomed shrub whose name I don't know.

The aubretia has just started flowering and the winter pansies I bought from the shelf of death at B&Q in the autumn, and thought had succumbed to the cold, have suddenly returned to life and are cheering up my borders. Lots of tulips and hyacinths and pushkinia and my trusty hellebore is still flowering, though a bit overshadowed by everything else now.

Is there anything nicer than coming home from work and spending an hour weeding in the sunshine before dinner? <rhetorical qu>

PanelChair Wed 24-Apr-13 22:56:08

No, MooncupGoddess, there isn't. ::rhetorical answer::

From memory, my flowering roll of honour is

Polyanthus
Heuchera Lickorish (thank you LexyMa)
Anemone blanda
Tulip Showboat
Narcissus Thalia, Misty Glen and one other, variety forgotten
Various violas
Hellebore
Muscari latifolium
Geranium phaeum
Viburnum tinus

I think the first of the apple trees will have blossom by the end of the week.

echt Wed 24-Apr-13 23:44:32

How lovely it is to hear all the spring news. It's ANZAC Day here, so a public holiday, and I'm in my jammies, second cup of tea before doing a brief tour of the garden to see how everything's getting on.

The birds are all in their autumn fighting mood as they jostle for territory before nesting. Massive cockatoo fights down the road. The racket is unbelievable. Just looking out of the window I can see a daisy bush getting ready to flower - still can't get used to how daisy-type flowers are winter/early spring bloomers, but it makes for a brighter garden.

My long term quest is to find out the name of a small tree in my garden that has small clusters of tubular yellow flowers for 9-10 months of the year. I think it must be a native as the spinebills come to feed on the nectar, but I've never seen it anywhere else. It is not handsome in its habit, but I'd never argue with a plant that blooms for so long, and feeds the birds.

Fragglewump Thu 25-Apr-13 08:19:19

Sorry I've not read the full 600 + messages but this is a rhubarb question.....feel free to scoff and chase me off the thread if I've missed the point (happens often....) my rhubarb has a sticky up bit in the middle like a bobbly pointy red thing - does this mean its going to flower/bolt. Should I leave it on or snap it off?..... I do love rhubarb but I'm a erm novice gardener. Any help much appreciated...

LexyMa Thu 25-Apr-13 08:34:24

fraggle, welcome - the thread isn't all about rhubarb! but to answer your Q, that nobble will unfurl into a leaf and the stem will grow steadily. later in the spring there might be inedible stems/flowers, but you could get a couple of kilos of rhubarb stems before then.

I was reading the March issue of GW magazine last night (since I got the ipad edition I get even further behind with them!) and there was a page about rhubarb - the leaves can be soaked in water for a few weeks to make a natural pesticide for whitefly/blackfly. I'll probably try to do that now rather than composting the leaves, need to label my buckets though lest I confuse my comfrey feed for rhubarb spray!!

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