help please

Okay this humongous thing is starting to get on my nerves…


it’s taking over too much space in my garden to be allowed to continue without revealing itself, so unless anyone out there can tell me what the hell this growth is…. and hopefully add it’s something delicious… this thing is getting the CHOP!


could it be rhubarb? and if so why isn’t it red already??

and also, when are these going to open?



I keep thinking any day now, any day, and now these days have turned into weeks and they are still tightly closed,  now they’re almost as tall as the birdhouse


soon the birdies won’t be able to fly in… and then what do I do?

what about these

red flowers

they are growing all over the lawn

and what the hell did this?


what went digging in a planter when all around it is nice juicy plants so easily accessible

and finally how long until I get to gorge on these?


looks like the caterpillar has a head start, but blueberries are Mr Weiss’s favorite.

Help me Obi-wan I know your out there!


  1. j
    Posted June 10, 2009 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

    looks like a rhubarb to me

  2. Posted June 10, 2009 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

    Looks like rhubarb to me,although I am not an expert.

    Some people say peonies require ants to help the buds open. i don’t know if it’s true. Looks like any day now!

    Don’t know what those nice orange flowers are, but they are sweet!

    Skunk? They like to dig for grubs.

    Blueberries, I think late July or so. You might want to pick those caterpillars off.

    Love your blog!

  3. Mame Johnston
    Posted June 10, 2009 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

    The plant is an unknown, but I sent your post on to my sister whose husband is an arborist and lives mid-state near Rochester. He might be able to ID it for you. The orange WEEDs are called Indian paintbrush and they also come in yellow. They will take over if you let them. Skunks do dig for grubs, as your earlier person posted. Blueberries are late July and Grand Gorge has an awesome place to pick them as you head to Stamford on the left hand side. Turn left on Charcoal Road and follow the signs. The berries are just gorgeous and so DELICIOUS. They’re my favorite, too. We plan on picking some when we’re there in July, too.

    Have a great rest of your week!

  4. Gloria P
    Posted June 10, 2009 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

    1. It looks like rhubarb. Break off a stalk, carefully remove the leaves (they are poisonous, full of oxalic acid) and taste the stalk. if it’s tart, it’s rhubarb.

    2. My peonies are in full bloom (Colorado where we have had a warm, wet spring) but your buds don’t look big enough. They will open in time and you’ll be thrilled.

    3. What other people have said.

    4. Could be a skunk, could be a neighborhood cat using your planter as a litter box.

    5. Get rid of that caterpillar and any others you see or there won’t BE any ripe blueberries.

    • thecatskillkiwi
      Posted June 10, 2009 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

      if i remove the stalks will the ripen or redden after wards? they are awfully green right now, but i will give it a look see

  5. Posted June 10, 2009 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

    chop it, rubarb is disgusting .

    • thecatskillkiwi
      Posted June 10, 2009 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

      hold on a minute i LOVE rhubarb!!
      well i love it when its a deep dark red, not this unripe green looking thing.

  6. Jill
    Posted June 10, 2009 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

    Question? did you plant picture #1? or did it just pop up? I thought you knew everything you put into that soil? Looks like rubarb which is my favourite also, especailly stewed with pears in a crumble.Yum Your garden is looking awesome from the original picture that was covered in snow!!you also sound a bit stressed over things not hurring up! chill out and enjoy..

    • thecatskillkiwi
      Posted June 10, 2009 at 10:14 pm | Permalink

      no didn’t plant this it’s the mystery surprise, and yes i’m in a hurry if its rhubarb i want it to ripen so i can eat it, i LOVE rhubarb!

  7. Jacquie
    Posted June 11, 2009 at 12:25 am | Permalink

    I’m voting for rhubarb too. And do not chop it!!

  8. Posted June 11, 2009 at 1:05 am | Permalink

    Looks like burdock to me too, I have them all over upstate. Don’t eat it! They get nasty burs on them. Get rid of it before it takes over, their roots are like trees!

  9. Posted June 11, 2009 at 4:30 am | Permalink

    I think burdock has slightly fuzzy leaves (the top side) and rhubarb’s leaves are shiny and thinner. If you take a stem in to a garden center, they should be able to tell you. Or do you have any old neighbors? Old people who live in the neighborhood are often great at identifying the weeds from the eatable things in your garden.

    • thecatskillkiwi
      Posted June 11, 2009 at 9:17 am | Permalink

      that’s a great idea about the garden center, or i will accost one of my neighbors.

  10. Posted June 11, 2009 at 4:32 am | Permalink

    Forgot to say, let the ants do their work on the peonies, don’t pick them off or spray them. Ants help your peonies open. Should be any day now.

    • thecatskillkiwi
      Posted June 11, 2009 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

      THAT’S IT!! it is most definitely burdock, THANK YOU!, now i have to decide what to do with it??

  11. thecatskillkiwi
    Posted June 11, 2009 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    the ants are hard at work on the peonies, they do look really close now, i am really excited, looks like there is a color variety of red, white and pink. awesome.

  12. finger_lakes_girl
    Posted June 11, 2009 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    Most definitely a burdock. Invest in a Newcomb’s Wildflower Guide (for the northeast), good key and nice drawings for beginners.

  13. VigneronRowland
    Posted June 12, 2009 at 12:07 am | Permalink

    yea its burdock, and you will never get it out, its so soft it just breaks and regenerates from the smallest of roots. you have to dig a big hole. if it wernt in your garden, id say let it grow all the way (cut off any flowers or seeds of course) and pull the whole thing up in the autum when the stem gets more woody. there is a rule of thumb in farming; one years seeding is three years weeding.

  14. VigneronRowland
    Posted June 12, 2009 at 12:09 am | Permalink

    oh yea and its probably a cat digging up your planter, mine do it all the time. put some catnip plants somewhere away from your garden and let them cause mayhem somewhere else.

  15. Barbara Wyatt
    Posted June 17, 2009 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    Sadly the orange flowers all over your lawn will continue to take over your lawn and are nice from a distance, but horribly invasive. The blasted “hawkweed.” I refuse to show respect by capitalizing, and I do not know the scientific name.

  16. Ramona
    Posted July 26, 2009 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    Hello there, I stumbled upon your blog, it´s really cute.

    I know the first plant.”Soliva pterosperma” (Lawn Burweed). It has tap root, and it is used as a medical plant,the leaf, the flowers and the juice, for skin (eczema) and for arthralgia – joint pain.
    I think u can eat the flowers in salad. If I remember correctly, it does not flower in his first year of growth.
    Some people hate them, cause they are hard to kill, and they do not look so pretty. As a kid I used to play a lot with them.

    The orange flowers are plants usually growing in alpine height, it is called “Hieracium aurantiacum” (Hawkweed).
    I think they are just nice to keep looking at – no medica or other use (or I just don´t know).
    But the one thing I know about them, is that they love warm, and dry places, the soil they like is not rich in nutrients, but contains a lot calcium.

    • thecatskillkiwi
      Posted July 27, 2009 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

      hey thanks Ramona very informative!

2 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. […] finally a big thanks to all those who weighed in on the Rhubarb vs Burdock debate, with the final identication being definitely BURDOCK… the funny thing is now that I have a […]

  2. […] still bummed the mystery plant did not turn out to be this delicious […]

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