May 14, 2010

Do You Think The Rain Will Hurt The Rhubarb?

When I was a kid, my Uncle Jim would ask the above question as a way to change the conversation topic or when there was a lull in the conversation. Even today, I'm not sure what the question means, but the answer is, "Not if it's in cans." All this to say that we planted a rhubarb plant this week, our first ever. A neighbor dug it out of the garden at a home he has for sale and gave it to us. He doesn't know what kind it is except to say that it makes great pies. That's all my husband needed to know.

Mayapples grow in the wooded natural area between our house and the neighbor's. Some of them have moved closer to the flower beds which is fine with me. They are part of the Berberidaceae (Barberry) plant family and appear in forested areas before the trees have leaves. Sometimes they are referred to as the umbrella plant because it looks like a closed umbrella when first emerging and then opens into an open umbrella shape. Second year plants produce a white flower beneath the leaves and then that bloom turns into the "apple" of the plant.  

Our resident robin is taking good care of her eggs and she's very possessive of the area close to the nest, but she did give me permission to stick my camera in for a quick picture. We're thankful that the nest is in the cedar tree and not on top of the light fixture next to the front door.

Many of the shrubs in our yard give us nice color even before they start to flower. Our yard might look too tidy and manicured for some gardeners, but it works for us and we like it. I find myself attracted to yards and gardens where everything is able to grow freestyle, but it's just not me. Maybe in my next life.


  1. I used to hear that saying too, in those same circumstances. But
    Bill's grandmother called rhubarb "pie plant" so we usually call it that too. And yummmm!

    I'm glad you posted another picture of your resident robin! I don't see them much here in Fl. And when we stayed in Texas, I learned that it IS an exotic bird for them. I couldn't believe it when fellow bird-watchers got all excited to see a stray one!

  2. What a peaceful, lovely garden ... and enjoy the rhubarb~

  3. My country grandma used to make strawberry rhubarb pie all the time. I think I need ot make one this summer...maybe two!!! You are lucky to have a plant!

  4. Hi Donna... Love the photo of Phillip and his little friends planting marigolds..too cute"

    I have heard and read that Rhubarb makes a delightful strawberry pie, I see that Julie can attest to that, thanks to her grandma..I got to try it one day"

    The Mayapple is an interesting plant indeed" I like the Umbrella shape of the leaves, I find the common names: devil's apple and duck's foot queit amusing!...

    I did a little research on it because I found it to be unique..

    I'll be watching to see when you post the little flowers after they bloom later on.

    Robins have the loveliest blue eggs.. I haven't had one nest in my yard since my apple tree died or it could be that the cardinals have claimed ever inch of my yard and have done so for more than five years..

    I never could get a picture of their eggs because of the density of the honey suckle shrub they like to nest in.. maybe I'll try it again this year.

  5. Donna, I could have given you some of my rhubarb if I'd known you wanted some ;). A rhubarb dessert is on the menu here tonight - if it's successful I'll post the receipe on my Slow Growing blog.

    Have never heard of Mayapples - another discovery.

  6. Those Robin's eggs are beautiful. We used to see large colonies of Mayapple when we lived in PA.

  7. Anonymous15 May, 2010

    Oops, sorry I left my nest there at your house! I have a similar picture right on my blog's page.

  8. What sorts of lovely desserts do you make with your rhubarb? I bet they are tasty.

    You have some beautiful shrubs there in your garden/yard. I learn more and more everyday from blogs. I never heard of Mayapples either. I can be a numbskull sometimes.

  9. I've never heard that saying, but it sounds like something my Poppa would've said :) I'd love to try growing rhubarb one day.
    The Mayapples are cute little plants, I don't know if they grow around here.

  10. This comment has been removed by the author.

  11. Hi, Donna!

    My husband likes stewed rhubarb.
    Mayapples are beautiful. I haven't seen that plant before and I love the umbrella shape of the leaves.
    What a smart resident robin you have, Donna! The eggs are beautiful and it would be interesting to see when those eggs will hatch. We have native pigeons at the backyard and every spring we find few nests in our fruit trees. One time, Dorothy was able to take a photo of the baby pigeons which were in the nest in our open shed.
    You have a beautiful garden. We have cactus like that growing across the road and its got lovely yellow flowers.

    Have a great Sunday.

  12. I also heard the "rain/rhubarb" quote as a child. It was always accompanied by an adults chuckle or grin.

    Mayapple is an unusual looking plant. It reminds me a little of the skunk cabbage in PA woods.

  13. I used to hear that saying about the rhubarb, too, Donna, and always wondered what it meant:) Yumm, rhubarb pie--it's something I never make anymore, partly because I rarely ever make pies:) But also, my husband doesn't care for it, so guess who would wind up eating it all!

    The great thing about gardening is that you can do whatever you want. Funny, but I like a neat and more formal garden, but mine always winds up looking rather chaotic. I just say I'm a cottage gardener:)

  14. Rhubarb sauce & a dash of tapioca, rhubarb strawberry pie. Life is good. I gotta go check my rhubarb patch. :)

  15. Never liked the tast of rubarb. But do I love the umbrealla shaped plants. And never knew that Robins had blue eggs like this.

    See again a learning day for me.
    Thanks for the wonderful pics. And Phillip is growing tooo fast.
    Have a wonderful day sweet lady blogger. Hugs from me to you. Dagmar

  16. I always forget what a big big yard you have and I am in awe of how neat and cared for everything always looks. I don't see how you do it, but I know it's a treat to see!

  17. All looks neat, tidy, colorful, and lovely, Donna. Yes you are lucky ... our resident robin at the lake makes her annual nest in our light fixture, which is scary since it's a sensor and won't turn off. Afraid of a fire (cabin is cedar), we must remove it before we leave and hope for the best.

  18. What fun to have a robin nest so close. Now you get to see the babies! Your yard looks amazing!

  19. You have such a beautiful yard! We could use you around here. I love the groomed look and seem to have the freestyle one. And the robin eggs are amazing!

  20. Can anything hurt rhubarb? :) I love it in pies but that was the first thing I tried to remove when I moved into this place. It's still here. I don't think it's possible to make it go away... :)

    The robin's eggs (and your gardens) are beautiful!

  21. Your yard looks pretty tidy to me! Love those robin's eggs. I've been trying to save the baby robin's around here from all kinds of marauders!

  22. What pretty pictures!!!

    What a nice neighbor you have! I've got jars of rhubarb jelly on my shelves. Yummy! Rhubarb pie sounds delcious!

  23. I like my rhubarb mixed with strawberries in a pie. Yummy. My robin in the cedar tree has hatched her eggs and I have two small babies I hope my dogs don't see. They should be flying well soon.

  24. Hi, Donna!

    Just dropping by on a Friday morning here to thank you for the visit and leaving sweets comments. I really appreciate it.

    Have a great weekend!


  25. I really love the rhubarb question...joke. It reminded me of some of the silly jokes in the books I am reading. Simple but funny.

    Great picture of the robin's eggs.

    I still have not planted a thing, so I'm glad to enjoy it through you.

  26. As always, I enjoy your post and pictures. I especially like the robin and the eggs. We have quite a few robins around but I haven't spotted a nest this year. This definitely has been a great year for gardening in Wisconsin so far...hope it continues.

  27. Did you hear about #4? YEAH!!!!!

  28. LOL, Donna,
    As I was tying up some sprawling plants today, I thought to myself, my gardens are controlled chaos. I like the look of your place, too, but I am a collector.

    Those mayapples are cool. I don't think I've seen those before.

  29. The question if the rain will hurt the rhubarb, not if its in cans, was actually a question amoung meeting someone was used amoung the French, English and Americans as a question during World War II, to see if you were German or not, and as a spy...if you asked if the rain will hurt the rhubarb, and you relied not if its in cans, you knew the password...but if you said something else you were German soldier or German spy or working with them...hope this helps...


For you to take the time to leave a comment means a lot to me. You make my heart happy.