Garden writing lifts me up.

Rhubarb And Trexit

Reading time 5-7 minutes.

Part One

My wife grows rhubarb. For the past number of years she has had a good harvest from one plant in a very large terracotta pot. The pot is approximately 24 inches in diameter, and the rhubarb, although very tasty, is a bit lost in it. Last year, I entered into negotiations to secure exclusive use of the pot. There was a bit of horse-trading. That’s my term for having to do a few more house chores in addition to hoovering and taking off my muddy boots. Contracts were exchanged verbally, and my plans were put in progress. But, like planning permission that can lapse, Marion held on to the pot because I did nothing about it.
This week I did! Monday morning was very very wet, and I visited Country Life again. This time, I did not know what to buy, so I spoke for 20 minutes with Malachy. I explained I wanted something to add interest for the winter and I described the pot with hand gestures. “It’s about this big, and this wide”, said I. There were so many suggestions thrown at me, but I was decisive lest I lose the pot permanently.
I agreed to purchase three plants:

    All three plants were mature and expensive. I mean really expensive, so I put on my thinking cap and within twenty minutes my plants were in the very large basket and loaded into my very small car boot. The acer tickled my ear as I itched home excitedly. Normally, I am reluctant to buy very mature plants but my daughter said she’d buy the tree as my Christmas present, and Marion would buy the two shrubs. Finally, the days of Marion’s rhubarb pot were over, and the task of getting presents too!

    Step 1: remove the offending rhubarb. Tuesday morning was equally wet and miserable, but the afternoon was bright and sunny with only an occasional shower. It took me a while to dislodge the rhubarb, divide it into four plants and find a new home of Marion’s choosing on one of the vegetable beds. I thought it wise to hold off on mentioning that rhubarb is not generally regarded as a vegetable. (As it turns out, I was wrong, so best left unsaid!)

    Step 2: plant the shrubs and tree carefully using a mix of good compost and some soil robbed from the fertile vegetable bed. No evidence supplied, but I did break a sweat.
    Step 3: move the pot with its new plants to somewhere else.

    Step 4: admire from several angles, with coffee.
    Facing North
    View from the glasshouse
    Skimmia japonica Temptation

    One hour later my long-awaited project was complete and all that will need doing is to wrap it during Christmas week!

    Part 2:

    I rarely watch television. There are a few exceptions, such as whenever Crystal Palace win a match, or a good historical film. I also do like overnight election counts, so I watched CNN coverage of the US mid-term elections very early this morning. Over a cup of coffee before dawn, I once again checked my Christmas presents. Anti-the-Trump vote was coming in strong.
    As I continued to watch CNN, my mind harped back to my work the previous day. The conservative wing of the USA remained emboldened and loyal to the-Trump, but there were less of them. Women got revenge for two years of misogynism from the-Trump’s keyboard. At one point he declared the result “a tremendous success”. My garden project is an example of a tremendous success. My work, my decisiveness and my collaboration with the owner of the pot is a tremendous success. The-Trump would do well to visit my garden. He will see that I cannot hide my tremendous success behind falsehoods. It stands there for even him to see.

    I see, said the blind man. Shut up, said the dumb man; you can’t see at all.

    As dawn broke, I returned to the TV screen while reading the New York Times and the Guardian. Every now and then, I broke into laughter, particularly when a Guardian (UK) summary pointed out:

    If that qualifies as a victory, then England can celebrate several World Cup wins since 1966.

    Later when I remembered my beautiful Acer, the bark of which turns to a strong stripey pink in very cold weather, I googled for a quote about snake bark, and Friedrich Nietzsche jumped to the top of my screen:

    The snake which cannot cast its skin has to die.

    Malachy assured me that my terracotta plants will live happily together for at least 15 years before I’ll need to consider a bigger pot. The trick will be to buy the pot for Marion one or two years ahead of time! The-Trump barely has two years left, and perhaps less. His American garden is divided and plants will not work well together. The ying and yang is missing some yang. Trexit may happen.

    Balance and beauty

    Please Leave A Comment

    Tell me your “the-Trump” thoughts. I’ll not declare it fake news if I don’t like it. Have you a garden project that you are particularly proud of? Have you a garden blog you feel is worth sharing? Give me the link! I love reading garden blogs, and I quietly take some of the good ideas to mine. It’s not robbing, it’s admiration.

    Pádraig is the author of GrowWriteRepeat. He loves Marion’s pots, Malachy’s advice and makes very sure not to mix up the two. He also loves snake-bark and overnight election coverage, but he can see the wood from the trees.

    11 thoughts on “Rhubarb And Trexit”

    1. My \”The Trump\” thoughts are really very (lets just say) Not Nice. Being a woman who demands respect in all aspects of her life (because that's what she gives) and being the mother of a gay child, I find him deplorable and it speaks volumes of the country I live in. America voted for a bigot and a bully who believes anyone who isn't just like him should have their fundamental rights taken away. Women all over America stood up and were heard. The LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender)community stood up and were heard. Hard working middle to low income community stood up and were heard. America is broken and the citizens are tired of living in a broken country run by a womanizing bigoted man. We need to stop the madness and it began yesterday when we were finally heard! Lets all pray he gets no second term.

    2. As for the garden (because it's to beautiful to be lumped into a rant about \”That Man\”) I love it! I am no gardener but you are beginning to inspire me. I may have to go rent a tiller and plant some stuff this spring. I'm thinking maybe vegetables. But don't quote me on that haha.

    3. Such early and beautiful Christmas presents you've got! This post had me smiling. You sound like a child to me! Ha ha!I do love to admire my plants from different angles too – wthout coffee though.

    4. In fact, rhubarb IS a vegetable! Google confirms it, so I'm glad I I didn't advise Marion otherwise! Happy you like the garden, a chara. And If I have planted a seed in your head may it bloom and prosper.Such a wonderfully respectful idea to separate the ugly from the beautiful by posting 2 comments separately! Sending the Dungarvan garden karma your way.

    5. I am a child at heart, a chara Jade. The simple pleasure of the present moment is brought home strongly to me when I am in the garden. This I'd true whether or not I have coffee!Keep smiling!

    6. How respectful of you to devote such time o do a really proper rant! As you will have noticed, I have attempted to dehumanise him by adding \”the\” whenever naming him. Women of America have spoken clearly and I am so thrilled to have witnessed it.I was going to say the voice of women has hurt the-him, but that implies he may even have feelings. Strangely, I made the decision to write about the beauty of nature and to contrast that to the ugliness of the-Trump. I think I shall look back at this article in future years and still see the beauty of the world. My tree and shrubs will be tended with love and care.

    7. Although I have no interest in gardening Paraig I love gardens and yours is beautiful. You have 2 talents here…gardening and writing. Your writing is both clever and humorous. I love the analogy comparing The -trump and diverse range of people he presides over with you and the diverse range of plants you have. Clever out! The photos are fabulous. Christmas starting early in your house!

    8. Ah thank you so much, my friend! Only today, while on a flying visit home, Meabh was saying that we'll hang baubles on the Acer Christmas week. We've done it before, and never took them down!Men are not easy to buy Christmas presents for, but this one will be special as I'll be looking at it every day. In fact, I think I'll make it an annual event!

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