Friday 9 April 2010


I love both figs and fig trees; I have about six trees growing in the garden, and they are the only trees from which I can guarantee a crop EVERY YEAR.

The fig is a strange tree, seemingly having no springtime flowers like other trees. In fact what we think of as the fruit, is actually its flower and seeds combined. The Common Fig, which is the type I have, doesn't even require pollination; it seems to break all the rules. Bizarre.

We live in an area where late frosts can annihilate our fruit crop. But the fig cocks a snoop at frost, and will simply start again, finally fruiting at roughly the same time, as if it hadn't been touched at all.

Figs are best eaten fresh off the tree, but they can also be cooked, served in salads, or preserved in a Cognac flavoured syrup for the winter. They do have an unfortunate habit of absorbing water into the fruits after heavy rain, so one should always eat them in dry weather.

Lastly, nature has given them a staggered method of fruit production. Unlike most fruits, they don't all grow at the same time. The fig continues to produce over a long period, so fresh fruit can be eaten from the same tree for quite some while. Delicious.

p.s. My next door neighbour, an ex-banlieue-Parisian, was the proud owner of one of the most magnificent fig trees in the area. Since he purchased a chain-saw, nothing is safe, and his slash-n-burn policy has already cost the lives of nearly all of his garden's beautiful 'specimen-trees'. Sadly this last weekend the huge fig tree caught his attention, and is now no more. WIERD. It'll re-grow, they always do; so what was the point?

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  1. Oh, I'm cringing over your chainsaw happy neighbor. Is he just bored, or what? Crazy.

  2. I couldn't agree more. Luckily in these terms, the word 'Neighbour' is relative. He's about 200 yards away.

  3. I believe that it should be mandatory for city people to go through a training course, before being allowed to live in rural areas.

  4. I'v never seen a fig growing, I wish all fruit trees were like the fig tree! oh, I could tell you about a few neighbors!!!!!

  5. Heron. I totally agree, especially when it comes to animal ownership!


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