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Rhubarb Appreciation Society

(996 Posts)
Blackpuddingbertha Sat 23-Mar-13 21:43:51

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.

LexyMa Sun 31-Mar-13 15:51:32

30x50!!! envy


I have done some late bulbs along my 4m front path and mulched with compost. DS was pretty good at the compost distributing, less at the bulb dibbing...

Also planted a gooseberry I got off the bargain shelves in about Sept. mulched the gooseberry/raspberry row (4m across front of living room window) and observed with despair the disastrous level of weeds already getting established well ahead of the bulbs, phlox, etc in the rest of my total failure R/W/B patriotic 2012 front garden.

The shed has been damp over winter so I am expecting some stored stuff to fail. I bought 50 dahlias in a bag (dark stemmed/leaved type) for 7.99 at Costco which I don't think I will get planted today because my back hurts already. It is time for me to have a restorative snooze while DH/DS do more of the bank holiday DIY jobs round the house...

LeucanTheMopsis Sun 31-Mar-13 16:10:30

Well, I'm in a little hamlet in the middle of nowhere, Lexy so people have a LOT of space to spread out.

I'm only renting, unfortunately, so I can't do anything too dramatic, but given it was no more than a tussocky meadow with tangled brambles when we started, it's looking pretty good. grin

Are you sticking with the RWB patriotism this year? It's not my thing, but there's a tiny front garden nearby - you know, one of those immaculate 2x2 lawn, path, privet hedge affairs - where the owner dug borders round for a RWB flag, and it was so perfectly done I had to admire it. ALL his geraniums were exactly the same height, and I bet if I'd snuck in and counted, they'd all have had the same number of carefully rationed leaves too... I will never have the time for that fort of precision gardening [sigh].

LexyMa Sun 31-Mar-13 16:32:12

ooh I'm not a RWB-with-petunias sort of gardener... I have red and white gladioli, some pretty triangular flowers I've forgotten the name of but perennial from bulbs, red white and sort of indigo phlox, red white and purple three muddy purple buddleias, a path edge in lavender, possibly some Welsh poppies, borage, moroccan mint, a vinca major with blue flowers, um and I forget what else. It's not in a union flag pattern or anything, its just a 4x4 patch of chaos, dead nettle, creeping buttercup and horsetail.

HumphreyCobbler Sun 31-Mar-13 17:53:18

The cherry tree is starting to come out! Hooray!

Maud - I will if you will wink

waves to Leucan and offers chocolate all round

echt Sun 31-Mar-13 21:41:41

Happy Easter everyone, though it's Monday morning here. Lovely to hear about all the spring plans and first signs of growth. As soon as I've got myself together, having had only 5 hours of very broken sleep, I'll plant some lettuce seedlings and then go scouring the op shops for old blankets to line dip tins before potting up some succulents.

Mr Springsteen was outstanding, a 3-hour set with all the favourites, and what backdrop to the stage, the most dramatic view of Hanging Rock looming behind.

I'm having a morning cuppa now and doing some shuffling about prior to going back to bed to read the newspaper.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Sun 31-Mar-13 22:38:18

Humph - I make no secret of the fact that I want to get into the Yellow Book. Several of my gardening chums are in it and they have encouraged me to have similarly lofty aspirations!

HumphreyCobbler Sun 31-Mar-13 22:40:13

Oh go for it!

I reckon we might try in about five years when our planting has caught up with our aspirations.

HumphreyCobbler Sun 31-Mar-13 22:41:34

Did you ever read 'Garden in the Clouds'? It is a really funny book about trying to get into the NGS scheme. Very near to where I am.

envy of Bruce echt

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Sun 31-Mar-13 22:56:44

buenvy of Bruce here too. I'm not a huge fan, but I imagine the experience of seeing him in the open air in front of the rock would have been spectacular.

I rang the NGS up about 11 years ago, simply to ask what the process was, and the organiser was pretty much picking up her car keys and coming straight round for an assessment, which was not what I wanted! Then things went downhill a bit when dd was tiny, and now I've got new planting to do to fill last year's gaps. But I suppose the garden will never actually be finished and so I do, sooner or later, as you say, just need to go for it.

Oh and, Humph. I have just been reading a piece about how the horticultural place-to-be is your neck(ish) of the woods.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Sun 31-Mar-13 23:02:28

Why didn't my envy work? angry

funnyperson Mon 01-Apr-13 06:22:36

Monday morning. Birds singing in a conversational way. Still a holiday, amazingly! The Hanging Rock thing sounds as if it lived up to expectations!

My garden aspirations are still taking shape, the doable detail seems to change and evolve a lot, impulse buying comes in the way of garden design and the structure and planting of the garden has a very long way to go. I might sound knowledgeable because I'm good at reading and sifting and assimilating, on paper and on the web, but in gardening terms I am an amateur. I think of you all as being so much better.

Do go for the NGS! I will visit in the charabanc (as long as its not a work day).

The snowdrop bulbs, which I planted late in Jan, because they didn't get planted in October, have flowered! The ones I planted in the green last March havent showed, but the little bulbs are all out. So are the crocuses, and little scilla in a pot. Spring is late, but it is here at last.

Leucan it was very satisfying reading about your garden. It sounds lovely.

Today is going to be about planning and ordering for gaps in the planting.
I'd really like to buy a very small acer tree- which one is best?

echt Mon 01-Apr-13 08:46:59

I've done a big tidy up and water as we're driving to Adelaide to see the Turner exhibition, and staying a few days: DD is not quite a gardener shall we say. I've already pencilled in the various botanic gardens and arboretums/arboreta on the way.

I'm a bit excited, and apparently not many people say that about Adelaide, but then I love road trips. grin

At home I've finally identified a plant I bought several weeks' ago, an erect elephant's ear plant alocasia that grows well in shade and I'm trying to find room for it in the semi-tropical bed. I have two pots so I'll try them in deep dry shade and sunnier, to see how we go. A massive and leaning jade plant was hacked back and all the bits are drying off prior to potting next week. They take very easily, it's the flowering that's the bugger. I've seen them grown as a hedge, of all things, in the city centre.

GinAndSlimlinePlease Mon 01-Apr-13 09:04:58

Morning grin

I'm very envy of 30x50m garden. It must be lovely to have so much space to play with. (Although I think I'd be a little intimidated by such a large garden.)

I've ordered the garden in the clouds book, I'm hoping it'll inspire me! Maybe not to such greatness just yet, but you know, dream big and all! grin

reading other posts about snow damage makes me realise how mild it has been on the South coast. I bravely/naively planted out a clematis and two honeysuckle at the end of the year (both presents). they've been fine, new leaves sprouting.

Although maybe I spoke too soon. we've had two dogs to stay for easter and straight away my allium got knocked over sad and one of the dogs seems intent on weeing on all my newly planted plants. including my lovely Acer. Please reassure they won't die!

I'm hoping to drag my mother out to a nursery today so spend more money blush. It's dry enough (although freezing to garden).

Rhubarbgarden Mon 01-Apr-13 09:26:36

Hello. Good to hear what everyone has been up to over the weekend. Frustratingly I've hardly got any gardening done due to a poorly child and visiting relatives. We did try to visit Borde Hill Gardens yesterday, but had barely got through the gates before a screaming in apparent agony dd had to taken to A&E where she immediately staged a miraculous recovery. Tried to rejoin the rest of the family at Borde Hill and she straight away wilted again. angry I briefly admired the mulching on the rose beds on the way out the gates again. Big fight with dh on the way home, so left him to deal with poorly child and whinging baby while I took it out on the new mower, giving the lawn it's first cut. It's a sod of a lawn to cut. Too many overhanging shrubs, level changes, slopes and steps, and it is in dire need of a good edging. I need to get a strimmer to do the faffy bits.

Getting into the Yellow Book is my greatest ambition too. I was well on the way with the last garden - strangers used to stop and compliment me on the front garden, which was just such a morale boost. But starting from scratch here and with two littlies it'll be years and years away. Maud you should definitely go for it. If you wait till you are ready you will never do it.

Rhubarbgarden Mon 01-Apr-13 11:26:10

Just done some chamomile lawn research. The 'correct' variety of chamomile cannot be grown from seed. The clones must be purchased. I have just costed my planned lawn and it would require over £1K of plants.


That's that idea put to bed then.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Mon 01-Apr-13 11:28:26

It's just occurred to me that Leucan's garden in metres is about the same size as mine in feet!

How worrying to have to take a child to A & E, but how frustrating if it turns out to be no more than an "allergy" to going somewhere they haven't chosen to go. Hope all is well now.

I am psyching myself up to get out of bed (lovely bank holiday lie-in) and get on with the seed-sowing.

LeucanTheMopsis Mon 01-Apr-13 12:26:48

Oh dear... this is what comes of being an early '70s baby and using metric and imperial interchangeably, and both badly <feebly tries to blame the State for own incompetence>

... the feet do not convert into 30/50, but 20/40, so all the envy faces can stand down blush

My sympathies with the lawn Rhubarb, I have random slopes and it's hard work. Also had to discard the chamomile idea, but still idly dreaming of a jewelled lawn instead.

LeucanTheMopsis Mon 01-Apr-13 12:38:06


ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Mon 01-Apr-13 12:43:33


LeucanTheMopsis Mon 01-Apr-13 12:55:27

Don't ask, Maud. Give me a number and I'm perfectly capable of of dropping it on the floor and smashing it sad.

I think I had the width in feet but also wrote it down as the length in meters confused. My Garden Is 20 Meters by 40 Meters. Apologies for confusions... blush

Rhubarbgarden Mon 01-Apr-13 13:08:35

Yes Maud, worrying and frustrating by turns! She was genuinely poorly (some kind of tummy upset and dramatic fever) but it was very on and off. Anyway she's much better today, though we've been up since 5.30 so I'm a bit wrecked.

What seeds are you sowing?

Rhubarbgarden Mon 01-Apr-13 13:17:17

Oh, crossed several posts there! What's a jewelled lawn?! < gets excited> I'm wondering about just sowing species chamomile and seeing what happens. Nobody ever walks on that bit of lawn and it gets full sun. If it's a disaster I could always just sow grass seed on it later and give up on a bad job.

There is an area of lawn at Kew where some chamomile appeared a few years ago. One of their historians then unearthed evidence that during the war there were experiments there to find low maintenance lawn for air strips (or something like that), and this was the remains of one of those experiments suddenly resurfacing. I was working there as an intern at the time, and when we heard this a whole load of us dashed outside from the canteen and went and stood staring down at a patch of lawn, trying to spot chamomile. It must have looked quite bizarre to onlooking visitors!

LeucanTheMopsis Mon 01-Apr-13 13:24:59

Good that the little Rhubarb is better.

<dodgy half remembered history alert> some people have jewelled lawns now, but they're basically grass with bulbs scattered around. jewelled lawns were fashionable [cough] centuries ago either before grass was seriously considered, or as a cross-over - and were short dense mats of flowering plants, to be strolled around on. Apparently you got extra points for fragrance as well.

I read this somewhere a few years ago <frets about book> but can't remember where - the lady said you could mow it just as you would grass, but I cannot for the life of me remember what plants she was talking about.

funnyperson Mon 01-Apr-13 13:26:50

Lol 20x30m instead of 30x40m is still in the same ball park of largeness in my view. You could have a partierre and an orchard and a pond and a potager and a herbaceous border as well as a rockery. Or go minimalist of course.

Mine is a rectangular town garden. The design possibilities are limited. Although every so often I think of replacing the lawn with a knot garden. However I do have topiary and cloud pruning and so forth. One has to make an effort.

Rhubarb I think you should give the chamomile a go. That reminds me I must go and try sowing some twinings stuff indoors as the birds ate the last lot.

Rhubarbgarden Mon 01-Apr-13 13:33:36

That sounds lovely. One of my (many) back up plans was to plant a load of crocuses and snowdrops in that bit of lawn instead.. There was a front lawn done like that where we used to live, and it always stopped passers-by in their tracks. I was seriously envy every year. I must look further into this idea - report back if you remember where you read it!

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