Orkney Rhubarb Basket
Orkney rhubarb basket.
Size : height approx 8.5cm diameter at widest point 11cm
Rhubarb grows very well in Orkney and as you drive around the islands in spring and summer, you can see enormous patches growing in people's gardens.
The rhubarb patch in the long forgotten garden of the old farmhouse where we live, is one of those patches. Grown here by generations of one Orcadian family, who lived and worked here.
We were so excited to find it and have eaten our fill of rhubarb this year. The birds have delighted in it - tiny wrens and wagtails, hopping between the huge spreading leaves, finding a feast of insects, to feed their brood.
I have used the root for dye and now found how wonderful its fibres are for making coil baskets. I peeled the freshly cut stems, leaving the peelings to dry in the sunshine. Though they are so thin, that they are transparent, they are very strong and the beautiful variations in colour, have made this a very special basket.
I have used a core of dried grass, also gathered from our garden.
The rhubarb patch now stands empty of all but the gnarled roots, there won't be anymore rhubarb baskets until it springs back into life next year, but it will be worth the wait!
Size : Height approx 8.5cm diameter at widest point 11cm