Tuesday, 7 October 2014

I had a little fig tree nothing would it bear ...


September has been kind to my fig tree as it has been bathed in warm sun throughout the whole month.There has been little breeze and temperatures have been relatively high for the time of year. It has been a record breaking month in terms of hours of sunshine. The wellather changed dramatically at the weekend and Autumn started with a vengeance, with a drop in temperature, torrential rain and high winds in certain parts of the country.


Because the weather has been so benign, flowering periods have been extended and seasonal dieback has been slowed right down. Like the Bedding is still going strong as are late summer flowerers like dahlias. There has been no real frost as yet to check growth.


The fig tree, like everything else in the garden, has enjoyed these conditions, and has continued to grow with the heady mix of warmth and a little rain. Other parts of the country have had so little rain that growth has been affected by drought conditions, but here in deepest Lincolnshire, the mix has been just great.



Little figlets have continued to swell and develop, but, correct me if I am wrong, these would ripen in January time in a hotter clime, so they have no chance here !

Like the nut tree in the nursery rhyme , though, my little fig tree has not been prolific. In fact it produced only one fig all season! That was not silver or gold, but was admittedly delicious, if short lived ! Hands up, it was mainly my fault with my over zealous pruning ! I have high hopes for next season.

The fig tree is looking the healthiest it has looked all season, and is lush and well foliated.

Looking at it now, it is hard to remember how sad it looked in Spring, as it had very sparse foliage due to my, erm, pruning, I'm ashamed to say. Well it overcame that hurdle and began to grow strongly in late Spring, only to be knocked back again, as the shed roof was renewed. It had to be cut back again to give the roofer clear access, and even had to be prised away from the wall at one point.


It all goes to show what a tough cookie this tree is, and I have developed a new respect for it, having seen it recover so heroically from adversity.


The  'Polish Spirit' clematis which twines through the fig tree, has also taken a battering and had to be cut down when the shed was reroofed. I wasn't unduly worried as it is a well established plant, but it did sulk for a couple of months before making an appearance again.


There is no sign of autumn in the foliage as yet, and both the fig leaves and the clematis leaves are still a very fresh strong green, unchanged from earlier in the season. Cooler night time temperatures will no doubt work their colour- changing magic soon! I expect that the photos next month, of my fig tree, and many of the trees being followed in the 'Tree following' meme will look very different.

You can check out the huge diversity of trees over at Lucy's lovely blog 'Loose and leafy', and many thanks to her for hosting the meme every month.


36 comments:

  1. I've added a link to this post on the Loose and Leafy Tree Following link box. Sorry you're having internet and computer troubles.

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    1. Thank you so much Lucy, that is very kind. x

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  2. It is great you still have green leaves and it looks healthy...maybe it will have figs at a better time next year.

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    1. Hi Donna, yes, I am hoping it has a calmer year next year, as this year has been quite traumatic!

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  3. Your fig tree looks amazingly healthy after all its earlier hacking back. And how lovely that you got a fig.
    Internet problems are a pain but I was chuckling to read that you are having trouble posting a link with Mr. Kinky on Lucy' s site.

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    1. Hi Chloris - he will always be 'Mr Kinky' to me, from now on!

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  4. Glad to see your fig doing so well Jane. Nevermind the very low or rather lone crop this year, just look at those fabulous and lush foliage :) hopefully you'll get more figs next year!

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    1. Hi Mark & Gaz, I am so pleased at the way it has recovered this season - onwards and upwards , hopefully, next year!

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  5. I don't desperately like fig fruits so I'm less sympathetic than I might be otherwise that you have so few this year. For me, the splendour of a fig tree (in this country anyway) is the wonderful shape of its leaves.

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    1. Hi Lucy, they do look quite exotic in this country, and are a great reminder of long hot holidays !

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  6. They say that any fruit larger than a small finger nail should be removed at this time of year, I hate that way g measuring things. Di they mean my fingernail or my husbands as there is a considerable difference in size,.

    Fingers crossed ( complete with fingernails) for next year.

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    1. Hi Sue, ooh thanks for the advice ! I didn't know that, so I'd better get cracking, whatever the size of the fingernail !

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  7. What a very lovely 'green' post! I expect November will show a different story.
    http://carolinegillwildlife.blogspot.co.uk/2014/09/tree-following-silver-birch-in-october.html

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    1. Hi Caroline, yes , you are right, next month will be a very different story. Now I have a working laptop, I will pop over to your blog and have a look at your silver birch.

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  8. fig leaves come in such wonderful shapes -- so even if there are no ripe figs (and I'm a huge fig fan) it's still a great tree.

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    1. Hi Hollis - I have my fingers crossed for next year! And my toes ...

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  9. Despite your drastic prune, your fig tree has fully recovered and hopefully all will go well for fruit next year. Maybe it's just teasing you - in a sort of 'see what you might have had' kind of way!
    We are experiencing damp warm weather here and it's really revived the garden this last week or two. It has of course made the soil just great to work with and move some plants around.

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    1. Hi Angie, glad you are getting good weather to move stuff around . I thought in August that we would be getting a very early Autumn, but good weather since then has really held it back, and there is still quite a lot of green foliage and colour around.

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  10. Fig is weird. It needs a specialized wasp for pollination. No wasp, no fruit. You're OK here because I can see the young fruit. It produces two crops per year. The first or breba crop develops in the spring on last year's shoot growth. The main fig crop develops on the current year's shoot growth and ripens in the late summer or fall. The main crop is generally superior in both quantity and quality to the breba crop. You are looking at the main crop and they should ripen this year. Who knows? Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_fig

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    1. Hi jane, thank you for your words of wisdom. As I am not particularly interested in my poor tree, I have found out very little about it - nay, am woefully ignorant!! Who would have thought that specialised wasps were needed !!

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  11. Jane, the garden (and the fig), looks so green and serene! But drought in the UK? That's impossible, isn't it?

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    1. Seemingly, impossible - we have been deluged with non stop rain over the last few days !

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  12. The fig is beautiful. Obviously, the "pruning" did it good. I love the pic of it and the roof with the figlets......the leaves are stunning.....strange word for leaves but I can't think of another! Glad to hear the Clematis made it also....We are getting plenty of rain....finally. Happy Gardening!

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    1. Thankyou for that ! We, too, are getting plenty of rain, but it makes it perfect conditions for all that autumn moving and planting!

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  13. It's so heartening to see how resilient your fig has been, maybe you will be rewarded with a bumper crop of three figs next year - re-roofing incidents not withstanding...

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  14. Hi Janet, it has been a little trooper ! I hope it has a calmer year next year!

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  15. Figs in Italy produce in fruit in July and then again in September usually. Some varieties only produce fruit once between early July and late September. In the UK you should remove the fruits that appear now (yes, I know that seems hard) so that the tree will put all its efforts into the fruit that will grow next year; which will be later than here in Italy. Good luck, A warm ripe fig fresh from the tree is one of life's great pleasures.

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    1. Ah thanks for that. I will remove them all post haste !

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  16. Sometimes the fruit will overwinter here and sometimes, like last winter, much of the tree is killed off by cold. We'd be collecting lots of figs now if it weren't for the paper wasps and yellow jackets. The yellow jackets are so aggressive this time of year it'd be foolhardy to mess with them!

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    1. I have to say that I don't know what a 'yellow jacket' is, but, from what you've said, I know not to mess with one !!

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  17. We had about the same weather as you, so still lots of green and flowers but that can change rapidly. Your figtree looks gorgeous, I love the shape of the foliage. I also had a figtree, with the same problem as you, little green figs in autumn, in winter they rotted on the tree. This happened year after year, so I removed the figtree from the garden. Finally I know there are several cultivars and this one was not suitable for our climate. There are better ones which give lots of fruits also in our countries. I hope you have a good one!
    Happy gardening Jane!

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    1. Hi Janneke, sorry to hear about your fig tree, as I presume you didn't get a crop in summer either ? My fig tree usually produces a good summer crop, it has just had a tough year this year, for one reason or another ! Hopefully it will return to form next season.

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  18. Well one fig is better than no figs. Doubtless you'll have a bumper crop next year. Actually, it is still remarkably warm here in Norfolk - perhaps it'll stay sunny and warm in Lincs til Jan and you'll get to harvest those tiddlers... some hope.

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  19. Hi Sarah, apparently we are heading for a 5 day 'heatwave' - how bizarre is that !

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  20. I'm really enjoying your fig tales. How wonderful it looks. Fingers crossed for a good crop next year.

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  21. Thank you Susan. Fingers and toes crossed for next season !

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I really welcome comments and have learned much from them, over the years of leaning over the virtual garden gate ...