Monday, 10 November 2014

Settling down for a long Winter nap ...


Every month   'Loose and leafy'  hosts a 'Tree Following' meme, where lots of bloggers from around the world, give an update on a chosen tree. I have joined in whenever I have been able to, and have been chronicling the ups and downs (mainly downs if I'm honest!) of my Fig Tree, Ficus Carica 'Brown Turkey'.

Since March it has been subjected to savage pruning, roofers and builders working around it, and last, but not least, the tail end of a hurricane and subsequent collapse of a nearby wall. Quite a lot of trials and tribulations for one little tree.

It had a very slow start in the Spring, which I now think is probably the norm for fig trees in this country, and not because of the mistreatment meted out by my tree loppers. However, once it was in leaf, it went from strength to strength and the long, warm growing season resulted in strong growth, as you can see from the green stems in the photo below. The green growth has all been put on this season.



Sadly, it only produced one fig this summer ... and that was down to my pruning!


After advice given in comments on my posts by gardeners who know about these things, I have removed the small figlets growing on the tree at the moment, as these stand no chance of ripening. Apparently if the tree was in warmer climes, it would produce some figs in January, but that ain't going to happen in the cold, drear UK !! I have asked Head Gardener Mr Google, who told me to remove all figs which are larger than a pea, as they will not ripen. Apparently the tiny, tiny fruit nestling in the branches are the ones which will grow and ripen next summer, all being well.


Even though many of the leaves are changing colour, there are still a few which think it is still summer, and remain resolutely green.



However, most of the leaves are turning colour and falling quite quickly now.



Although some leaves are an interesting yellow, the tree is not renowned for its autumn colour.

One more strong wind and I think it will be totally bare.



We have had an amazingly sunny and mild autumn which the fig tree has really loved, and the leaves have only really started to turn over the last couple of weeks.




I had to cut this poor clematis ('Polish Spirit')  right back to allow the builder access to the brickwork behind the fig tree, back in the early summer. It usually grows through the fig tree and scrambles around in its branches.




As you can see it has made a full recovery, and is growing back more strongly than ever. The flowers are a rich dark purple, and are freely borne.


I think that my December photos will show my little tree totally denuded, and slumbering deeply, just waiting for the Spring to stir it into growth again !

All it wants now is to go to sleep ...


35 comments:

  1. I'm with the fig, winter napping is one of the highlights of my year. Your fig has been such an interesting tree to follow. I'm rooting for a fine harvest of figs next year.

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    1. Winter napping, summer napping ... I am a big advocate of all kinds of napping, with my very favourite being 'by the log fire ' napping which lifts it to another level of joy!
      Life with my fig tree has certainly not been dull this year and the very least it owes me is a basketful of figs next season!

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  2. Hopefully you'll have a bountiful fig harvest next year :)

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  3. Your tree has recovered nicely from all the traumas of the year and I bet it will reward you next year with a good crop of luscious figs.

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    1. I hope it will produce a bountiful harvest, if it can muster the energy !

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  4. Our greenhouse fig has lost all its leaves too,

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    1. That is interesting Sue. Out of interest, why is it in the greenhouse ? Does it crop better ? I know the tree is hardy but I wonder if the tiny figlets benefit from extra protection from the elements?

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    2. We have it in a pot as they are supposed to fruit better if growth is restricted, It's quite hardy but we just like to have it in the greenhouse - at first being in a pot we moved it is to give a bit of winter protection but them left it there, I think it maybe starts shooting a little earlier.

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  5. I've seen the leaves on three fig trees. I've seen the figs. But never have I seen the flowers. There's a fig tree about five minutes walk from where I live. At the right moment I'll go on an expedition to see them.

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    1. Gosh Lucy I never thought of that! I completely missed them and I'm sposed to be keeping an eagle eye on this tree for a year! That is one of my tasks for next year. Wonder what Head Gardener Google has to say ?

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  6. Your little fig tree has had a lot to contend with this year, it has coped remarkably well, I hope you have lots of lovely figs next year.

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    1. The poor thing has coped with everything that has been thrown at it, and has lived to tell the tale. Let's see what happens to it next year ...

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  7. The foliage on the Figs is unique, isn't it? Well, at least you successfully harvested a fruit! Believe it or not, my husband's family successfully grew a Fig tree in cold Chicago for many years. They bent down the branches and somehow covered them during the winter and the tree would bounce back up again in the springtime. Your winters are milder than Chicago's, so you're lucky you can simply leave it standing, waiting for springtime. I imagine the hot summers in Chicago were much preferred to the cold winters. It's amazing the tree survived the extremes (appox. -23C to 38C is about the range in the Chicago suburbs). Great tree!

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    1. Wow ! They must be more resilient than we believe them to be ! Chicago has a huge range of temperatures !
      Yes, we got our 'harvest' - all of one little fig :-)

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  8. Lucy and Jane -- fig flowers are located inside the "fruit" (actually a false fruit) and therefore not visible! It's pretty neat -- check out "common fig" in wikipedia. Also, I really like the shape of fig leaves.

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    1. Thank you Hollis ! I was wondering why I had never seen any blossom!! Now I know! This is why this Tree Following meme has been so useful!

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  9. It's certainly coped well Jane. Hopefully now that you've been given the right advice you'll look back on this year as a trial run, so to speak. Here's hoping to a fine harvest next year.

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    1. Hi Angie. I have learned a lot and have been given some great advice ... it's what blogging is all about ! People are so helpful and ready to share their knowledge.

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  10. I hope that your fig enjoys a bit of shut-eye Jane when winter arrives and rewards your tlc with some tasty fruits next year. I do like figs and the thought of a fig tree certainly appeals :)

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  12. I bought a tiny little twig earlier this year from Morrisons, a fig 'tree', also Brown Turkey like yours. I think it will be a while before it starts producing any fruit, though it's put on a bit of growth this year. I look forward to seeing how yours does as mine will be a few years behind.

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    1. How great that Morrisons sell fig trees ! Who would have thought that you could buy one amidst the washing powder and cornflakes !! I hope it prospers and grows with all due speed !

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  13. I just planted a fig tree at my mother's house year before last. The roots survived last winter but I don't believe there was much fruit this year. I hope it survives the next winter, which is looking to be very cold.

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    1. Hi Phillip, gosh, has the cold weather started already ? Luckily fig trees appear to be a lot hardier than I first thought!

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  14. Hi Jane, I love your Fig Tree...The leaves are so unusual and the way the limbs twist really catch the eye....Seeing it "nude" will be interesting.

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    1. Tune in next month, Flower Freak, and I am sure your wish will be fulfilled !! One more strong wind and the fig tree will be totally nude !!

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  15. It has been interesting to read about the trials and tribulations of your fig tree this year. I have a small fig tree, which has surprised me with its colour this autumn. I had no idea they could be so attractive at this time of year.

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    1. Hi Sarah, will you tell your tree to tell my tree that autumn colour IS an option! Mine has dropped its leaves rather miserably, without any attempt to be interesting or surprising! Glad you have enjoyed the trials of my poor old tree !

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  16. I love this meme, such a great way to capture the growth patterns of a plant that matures over such a long period. and obviously a great way to get advice too!! glad to hear you received lots of pointers and hopefully next year you'll see some figs!

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    1. Hi marguerite, I have really enjoyed this meme too, and people have been so kind, so free with good advice . Because of this, I may stand a chance of getting more than one fig next year!

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  17. I've loved reading about the adventures if your fig, it deserves a good sleep after the year its had! Hopefully next year it will reward you with more than just a single fig.

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    1. Hi Janet, glad you have enjoyed its adventures! It certainly did not have a restful year! I'm hoping for more than 1 fig next year, too!

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  18. I have a friend Steven Biggs who has written a book on growing figs in cold climates - we're in Southern Ontario (-20C in the winter). Steven said that if you don't get figs on a plant - pitch it and try another variety - there are so many, no doubt you'll find the perfect one for your nice walled spot.
    http://barbarasgardenchronicles.blogspot.ca

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  19. The contrast in these photos is really neat!
    I hope you will come link up at http://image-in-ing.blogspot.com/2015/08/strange-visitors-in-garden.html

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