None of this is my fault

You may remember Tillie, the odd person who came with our house– just like curtains and doorknobs. She tends to hibernate in winter but recently I’ve seen her lurking around and she was on hand today when the rhubarb crumble came out of the oven…

Tillie eyes the rhubarb crumbleBut speaking of rhubarb the row is a huge hedge this year (maybe the third year in the current location) but now I’m thinking of moving it again in the fall, no not because I’m crazy (stop it) but because gardens do evolve and the vegetable garden has evolved into having a little line of peach trees along the north side. And one peach tree is located in the rhubarb hedge.

peach tree in rhubarb row

To be fair I will say that when we planted the peach a while ago the rhubarb was just peeking up and there was a bit of space between plants but yes, I WILL move at least part of the row next fall, but not to worry, I move rhubarb more often than some people rearrange their furniture and I rationalize (or rationalise) that  the plants benefit from a change of scenery and the challenges of growing new roots.  (We all need purpose.)

Here are the others of the peach row which you will notice are not planted in the garlic bed or etc.

two new peach trees

Now.  The next new and exciting development in this neighborhood is a kiwi trellis, and the two new kiwi plants cutely called Fuzzy Kiwi –or Actinidia deliciosa if you prefer names that sound like a yummy disease.

new Male Fuzzy Kiwi vine

And it takes two, just like people, so the tag (blue) said Male Fuzzy Kiwi (shown above) and the tag (pink) said Female Fuzzy Kiwi, and they are both doing swell, thanks very much to One Green World, a nursery where all sorts food-producing plants can be found including the most beautifully-rooted and healthy fruit trees ever. (Many of our orchard inhabitants, and the new peach trees, originated at that Oregon nursery, where it is also fun to see their electric car plugged into its charger unit outside the business office door…)

Someday I will show you the new kiwi trellis all awash in fuzzy kiwi-ness, but right now it looks quite stark and almost kiwi-free but I know you are a patient person and can wait besides you don’t have a choice, sorry.

So food production proceeds, and the tomatoes in the greenhouse are getting big while the weather continues to be chilly, just like every single other year.

tomatoes too early again

I really meant to seed them later in the season this time but there was an inexplicable mix-up about the dates so that I thought it was later but then I found last year’s planting records (of course I keep records–I just lose them is all) and I discovered I had used the same planting date as last year, almost to the day.  Gardening fate is what I call that and apparently there’s no bucking it.

I’m looking around at this blog post and I don’t see any flowers. Quick, here’s a daphne.

Daphne tangutica

This is called Daphne tangutica or jolly round daphne. Well yes I made up that last name but the only common name I could find was “dwarf daphne” so something had to be done, especially since it doesn’t seem to me that it’s particularly dwarf– this one is at least 3 feet tall and almost 4 feet wide.

But it has a wonderful fragrance, is very possible to shape with pruners, and it has leaves and red-orange berries in winter, overall a wonderful plant that plays well with others.

Daphne tangutica


what's left


About linniew

Unpublished novelist seeks therapy in gardening. Westie assists.
This entry was posted in actual plants, cooking, stuff for your garden that isn't plants, Tillie, vegetable garden and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

39 Responses to None of this is my fault

  1. Cathy says:


    Don’t even think about blaming poor Tillie for eating all of that crumble LOL. She was outside and that window was closed and looked like it might even have been painted shut. She’s in the clear on this one.

    Your Daphne is gorgeous (as is the rhubarb and your kiwis). I am having withdrawal just imagining the fragrance. Ours is just putting out leaves right now. We are at least 3 weeks behind you — I envy you your winters (which are much milder than ours) and your spring, which comes much earlier.

    Honestly, I would leave the pear in the rhubarb bed, We’ve planted lilies, peonies, coneflowers, and sage around our fruit trees – we’ve even made entire garden beds around some of them. I think it helps the trees because I’m more responsible about feeding the perennials than I am about feeding the trees so they eat off the same plate as the flowers growing around them (well, in a manner of speaking) and they actually seem much better for it.

    We planted kiwis last year and I am a bit distressed that the female survived the winter but it looks like the male kicked the bucket all the way to kiwi heaven. I’m crossing my fingers that I can find another one around here. Last year was the first year we ever saw them for sale and I thought I would try just one of each to start. I should have gotten at least a couple of each when I had the chance. Otherwise, I’m going to have to pay all outdoors to get some plants o line and shipped in pots.

    Thanks for my morning chuckle. Your log is the best fix I’ve ever had!

    Cathy W. from MA

    • linniew says:

      Cathy! So very nice to hear from you!

      You are very generous with your thinking about Tillie, but I must point out that, although you are right about that window, the kitchen does also have a door…

      But I am fascinated with your remarks about planting under fruit trees. Perhaps instead of removing the rhubarb I should just extend the bed and plant under the entire row of peaches. I like it.

      I hope your kiwi makes a comeback–I think the round leaves are just the prettiest things. Now I must go see what you have been doing in your gardens.

      • Cathy says:

        Oh, Linnie, I have been so remiss! I’ve not posted in forever. but you’ve now shamed me into catching up! I hope the other kiwi comes back but I’m not optimistic. Ms. K is quite lively-looking and Mr. K is …. limp …. (and dried up and brown). I think he is beyond help. Love, love, LOVE your blog.

        As for the door… may I suggest…. locking it? (When you have rhubarb crisp, that is).

        DEFINITELY plant around your trees. We even went so far as to plant trees in the middle of the perennial beds that didn’t have them to give just enough shade to temper the burning hot noonday sun. I think extending the bed would be perfect – plant all around them. We have a motto here… why waste all of that great real estate on grass when there are so many other things you can plant!

        We have a pink dogwood in one bed, three ornamental pears, a Santa Rosa plum, a regular apple of unknown variety, two coral-berry crab-apples, another crab-apple with lighter pink flowers, a quince, two white kouza dogwoods (great fruit producers), and four cherry trees. (And those are just the fruit trees…..)

  2. Cynthia says:

    Well, of course I knew kiwis grew on plants, I’ve just never known anyone to grow them! Good luck! Also, I appreciate the visual aid on the picture of the peach tree. Some of us need those.

    • linniew says:

      Cynthia, I hope to be the first person you know who grows kiwi fruit. And I do know that the peach and the arrow look like an orange helium-filled balloon on a string but it was very nice of you to not mention it.

  3. Greg says:

    I need some rhubarb…especially pie.

    • linniew says:

      Well you know what Garrison Keillor says about that:
      “One little thing can revive a guy,
      and that is a piece of rhubarb pie.
      Serve it up, nice and hot.
      Maybe things aren’t as bad as you thought…”

  4. Love rhubarb – rhubarb pie, stewed rhubarb, rhubarb crumble, strawberry rhubarb pie, rhubarb with custard – excuse me, I’m getting dizzy. Nice Daphne.

  5. kininvie says:

    You know, for a gardener, you do come out with a lot of excuses. ‘None of this is my fault’, you say breezily;, but who who else inflicts fuzzy kiwis and melancholic concrete owls on a perfectly innocent patch of landscape? Really, Linnie, you need to stop moving your rhubarb start taking some responsibility for things.

  6. Rachelle says:

    My first thought was, “TILLIE!” Seriously, I sort of get the impression not a lot stops the old gal, particularly NOT closed (and painted(?)!) shut windows, or doors for that matter. The only other likely suspect is (shh! K). And, i think the crumble was gone before he showed up.

    • linniew says:

      Hi Rachelle
      Yes Kininvie is always on my short-list of suspects. Since he is in Scotland the damage is limited to words, which we toss at one another like… cabers. (On rare occasions, we throw sunflowers.) But it’s not quite fair because he knows Latin and French both, among other things, but I am so utterly irreverent that it all comes out in the wash, just as Father Flaccus wrote in his 14th century treatise The Water Mystery, or What Became of My Socks.

  7. Glad things are proceeing as planned there. Actually I am so proud of myself that I didn’t buy my tomato plants yet like I usually do because it appears that we will have out last frost sometime in July here.

  8. Alberto says:

    That Tillie, poking around your house and peering into your kitchen windows wouldn’t make me feel safe in you shoes… However I can see you bake cakes and then let them cool by the windowsill just like Grandma Duck, don’t complain if the cake disappear (you haven’t learn anything reading comics???).
    I love that daphne, the scent must be breathtaking!
    I like your tomatoes too, you really seed them yourself? I’m impressed.

    • linniew says:

      But Alberto, I can’t get that window to even open. Still, I think Tillie might have Powers…

      How amazing that in Italy ducks can bake cakes! Our ducks just swim around in creeks and ponds and sometimes fly. I could really use a cake-baking duck. Can they make biscotti?

      I like to grow tomatoes from seed because there are so many varieties to choose from, much more than I can find offered as plants at garden centers. It is easily done. Don’t I recall you making a greenhouse from a barn, or something like that?

      • Alberto says:

        No, seriously? You don’t know who is Donald Duck’s grandma? Please google it.

        As for the greenhouse I’d like to have one, made of glass over a short brick wall, like those I can see advertised on Garden Illustrated UK, of which I’m a subscriber BUT a greenhouse in Italy would be of no use, due to our rather mild climate. Unless you are Christina@creating my garden of the hesperides and keep a very brit greenhouse in her garden near Rome. I guess it’s like an oven, in june.

        • linniew says:

          I remember Gyro Gearloose, but I think he was a chicken.

          All greenhouses are ovens in summer. I open both ends and the top of it then, but it is largely empty except for the wimpy basil plants. Also the maple shades a good portion of it in summer. Really I think our weather is similar in temperature but yours is not so rainy. Let’s see…yes today my phone says your weather is sunny, 21 degrees C today and 24 tomorrow. And we are sunny and 23 degrees C today and 24 tomorrow. So that proves you need a greenhouse.

          • Alberto says:

            No, that only proves I need a good sun cream for tomorrow when I’m going to plant my ashtray full of tomato plants that I bought at a nursery. I’m spoiled, I can’t help it.

            • linniew says:

              Tomorrow? Oh I guess the day is fading on your side of the planet. Well I just finished coffee and must get on with the great potato planting. (I know you love roasted root vegetables so you will doubtless be very excited!) Go find that sunscreen lotion so you will be ready in the morning…

              • Alberto says:

                It’s almost 6 pm here. I still have the time to go back from work and hang around the garden for a while before the sun sets. Get the most of this day an get the most out of those potatoes too.

  9. Katie says:

    It’s our fault. All of us. We never should have encouraged you.
    Nice tomatoes.

    • linniew says:

      Works for me. Thanks Katie!
      ps: Today the tomatoes have flower buds, like they do every late April, and then we have a week of warm weather (like this week) and then I plant them outside and then it gets cold and rainy and they almost but not quite die and THEN the raised beds look like a home for geriatric and sick tomato plants all summer. But this year they are locked in the greenhouse until mid-May and I don’t care how much they beg or if they grow tall and press against the ceiling. (Not my fault, remember.)

  10. b-a-g says:

    I’ve never seen such a lush crop of rhubarb. Your tomatoe plants demonstrate that you’re more organised and forward-thinking than you let on.

    • linniew says:

      I think the rhubarb likes our rainy springs. Thank you for the kind thought re the tomatoes–it makes me feel much better about the whole misplaced-planting-records issue.

  11. Lyn says:

    I can’t find my rhubarb. I think I saw it last in the Amaranth Jungle, but I’m afraid to go in there because of the tigers.

    • linniew says:

      Ok Lyn, here’s what to do:

      Find your tiger-hypnotizing device (better than a gun), take your pruners and blaze a path in. Maybe bring a sandwich and a thermos of coffee and a compass (or iphone)–but do tell someone where you going in case there is a search party later. Take your short-handled shovel and dig up the roots of the rhubarb and stuff them into your backpack. Even if you only get a chunk you can say you are ‘dividing’ it, something gardeners pretend about sometimes, and then you pack it back to your house and plant it anew, far away from amaranths. If a tiger follows you home name him Fluffy and feed him chocolate and chicken salad sandwiches.

      There. (I love helping with gardening problems.)

  12. That crumble looks delish! Have you thought about moving the peach trees instead of the rhubarb? They look like they might argue less.

    • linniew says:

      That’s a good observation but really I just planted those peaches so no. But, I may go with the notion of a mixed neighborhood and leave the rhubarb too… (Inertia is powerful.)

  13. aberdeen gardening says:

    Linnie, so glad to see Tillie still looking so well in spite of being hungry, I hope she got a little of your rhubarb crumble, anyway send her my regards. Peaches and Kiwi fruit growing outdoors, you didn’t tell me you lived in paradise. Just picked up that you linked to me in your last post, (thank you) part time bloggers like myself miss out on all the good stuff.

  14. Hi Linnie, sorry I’m so late to the party. I think you’re just echoing the sentiments of all gardeners. It’s a rule actually. None of it is our fault. There I said it.

    Tillie has emerged from her slumber looking as crotchety as ever.

    The kiwi foliage is really cool looking and that daphne, ooh, la, la. 🙂 I hope it doesn’t get too hot this weekend. I’ve already been watering the plants I dug up and moved in March. Sheesh.

    I love One Green World too. I’ve been there once, years ago. It’s fun to read their catalog. Good luck with the produce.

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