Rhubarb is a strange plant. It grows like a living iceberg, mostly underground, but with a prominent bulge above ground that sprouts these long edible stems and not so edible giant leafs.
In the autumn, every few years, it is possible to cut the root in half with a shovel and transplant it elsewhere to start another rhubarb.
In our old house, my parents had taken us some rhubarb, separated from the parent plant in Shetland. It had thrived in our garden in Central Scotland. Unfortunately, in the busyness of selling our house, I forgot to cut that rhubarb plant in half and plant it in a pot: Scots law states that once an offer to buy a house is accepted, no plants rooted in the soil can be removed.
Our new house has a rhubarb plant, but it isn’t as productive, or as tasty as the Shetland variety.
I thought we had lost our Shetland rhubarb for ever.
Until yesterday when my parents came down for a visit bearing not one, but two different cut-offs of rhubarb plants they had carried down, wrapped in wet newspaper, in a plastic bag and safely boxed. Both plants had even started putting out new stems!
The rhubarb has now been planted and I’m determined that I’ll be making rhubarb pie at some point in the near future!