Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Figs for Twenty-fifteen

organized part of garden - still a mess

We have messy gardens. Weeds creep on the ground and stick up high in the air, fighting with each other to dominate the various regions of the garden. Wildflowers run rampant where weeds don't take hold. One year a trumpet vine threatened to latch onto my car. I would come out to find it gently touching my car morning after morning, despite my moving it back each night. Snails feast on every plant they can reach. By the end of the summer, the entire garden looks spindly, burnt, and chaotic. Not a charming chaos, either.

So you would think that this presents enough of a gardening challenge for me. Regardless, I find myself drawn to the more unusual, and often challenging, seeds in the catalogue. In past years, I've tried growing loofah (seeded well, but I couldn't make it grow in the ground),  strawberry corn (some luck, though I let it go by harvest time), and white pumpkins (success all around). This year, I think I would like to try growing figs.

While the landscaping of our "upper" backyard (the not-down-by-the-river area) leaves much to be desired, I do dream of a day when a neat green lawn is framed by artfully-planted raised beds. Instead of a dangerous 4-foot drop off a bumpy stone wall, there is a row of wooden benches fencing off the area. Instead of a weed-ridden dirt patch, there is a pergola laden with grape vines, covering a lovely and photogenic outdoor lounge area. Fig plants in massive pots fit splendidly into this vision. We could enjoy the bright rich fruit as we sit under the pergola. Sigh.

It isn't as impossible as it might sound: in our zone (5a), fig plants need to be brought inside for the winter, grown in pots. I can order them online from Richter's Herbs in Groundwood. Moving the pots is probably the most difficult part, for which I can enlist help (probably). The fact that I have hardly eaten more than a dozen figs in my life is irrelevant. Right?

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