I enjoy strawberry-rhubarb pie. Otherwise, I’m not that fond of rhubarb. That’s probably the reason why the rhubarb in our little vegetable patch has been neglected, so much so that raspberry canes have grown over it. On the other hand, I’m very partial to the ornamental rhubarb in my flower garden. The sturdy knobs of leaves push up through the cold spring earth long before more delicate plants appear. The plant above is Rheum palmatum var. tanguticum. I planted it a few years ago and it has settled in well. It puts out quite a spectacular tall plume which, along with its giant leaves, makes a real statement in the garden.
Last year, I added two more plants to keep it company and fill in an open area. The new plants are a bit different, Rheum palmatum ‘Atrosanguineum’. The new leaves are a brilliant red. They gradually fade to a pleasing bronzy-pink colour. This is their second year and they are coming up well. I’m looking forward to seeing them fill out this summer.