Everybody’s rhubarb seems to be going to pot round here, going to seed and throwing up flower heads. Any rhubarb lover worth their salt will of course cut them off as soon as they appear so as not to exhaust the plant, like I showed in my last post and also wrote about here. Some people just don’t care and leave this vegetable to do its own thing. I must admit I love the sight of towering rhubarb flowers but love the taste of rhubarb more (this is starting to sound like a Harry Hill ‘F-I-G-H-T’). As I’ve got big preserving plans for my own homegrown rhubarb I am happy to leave the flower cultivation to others.
I have often noticed some rhubarb growing on an allotment in the village. It forms a particularly lush band going right across the width of a plot. Today I saw that it was all in flower so decided to stop to take some pictures. The old guy whose plot it is, thought I had stopped to request some rhubarb, as he doesn’t eat it! He said he sowed a packet of seeds three year ago, a variety of which he had no recollection, and this is what resulted. As far as he was concerned he’d be happy to get rid of the lot.
I have seen the flowers on sale in London as a cut flower. Can’t imagine them being popular round these parts but it’s a shame as the flowers, though strangely triffid-like, are rather grand and statuesque. I cut one off a plant in my garden and have it currently on my mantelpiece as a cut flower in a vase. They are big heavy blooms with hollow stems and like other cut flowers with hollow stems you need to hold them upside down and pour water into them till full, then bung up the end with a piece of cotton wool, before returning to upright and placing in a good heavy, topple-proof vase filled with water. The flower seems to be continuing to grow day by day, which is rather spooky.
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