Making room for Rheum

When is rhubarb not rhubarb? When it’s a plant in the Rheum family but not edible and has the name of ‘Ace of Hearts’. It might still have medicinal properties, which is why I decided to plant the one I bought from Summerfield Nursery the other weekend in the forest garden.

I’d gone on the shopping expedition to the nursery near York out of curiosity, thinking I might find plants suitable for the front garden. However, I was delighted to find plants that would fit into the back garden as well.

The pond tends to dry up during warm, even hot, weather in the spring and summer. This therefore is a situation I would like to remedy and one way of aiding this endeavour could be to provide shade, particularly on its south side.

According to the label on the pot, the ‘Ace of Hearts’ has a maximum height of 90cm, which is already quite impressive. On the other hand, I have seen elsewhere the suggestion that it could get as tall as one and a half metres, which would be even better. It would certainly provide shade.

After first seeing Gunnera at Belsay Hall in the exquisite Quarry Garden, I was much taken with this structural masterpiece from the natural world. Yet it would overwhelm the outdoor space on my property. So, it will remain a plant I admire on other people’s properties unless I have a radical change of heart about I want this space to be!

By comparison, I hope that the small Rheum I bought instead will satisfy my longing as much as protect the pond. And I look forward to the flowers it should produce, which I will report on in due course.

About Helen

I have always been interesting in living a more environmentally friendly lifestyle and used to do what I could. Now, I have come to realise that we have reached such a point in terms of environmental degradation that it is more important - perhaps - to focus on building resilience. I therefore do as much as I can to reuse, grow my own and encourage a supportive community, for example. I also keep reading and learning all the time.
This entry was posted in forest garden, Pond and bog garden and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Making room for Rheum

  1. We, too, look forward to the progress of the plant

  2. Going Batty in Wales says:

    That sounds an interesting plant and not one I have come across. Ponds that are not part of a water flow do dry up in hot weather so shade sounds a good idea.

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