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.