Six On Saturday: In my dreams

Temperatures are falling and the evenings have a chill about them.  My third summer in this garden is coming to an end.  The previous owner (PO) loved to grow fruit, figs in particular and this week I woke from a dream where I had collected armfuls of sweet soft figs.  I am sure this was inspired by a tweet from Fred, a French gardener  who had been doing exactly that.  In my garden I watch as the birds flutter in and out of the fig trees magically finding in their branches the ripe figs that I keep missing.  All the ones I can see are green.


IMG_2779Here’s the largest fig tree.  This was tentatively pruned back early this year but I can see it really needs to be brought down in size.  Ruthlessness is a gardening skill I am beginning to develop.  Cutting this tree back will give the summer borders more of a chance to keep going through into autumn.  I will be able to bear any loss of fruit as I don’t see much of it anyway!



IMG_2780Because the PO’s interest were in fruit and veg the flower borders had been left to their own devices and I have been reclaiming them from the weeds.  One corner was in the grip of ground elder and I spent the first two summers digging it out.  I think I am now at the stage where I can plant this corner up.  My dreams have recently focused in on a white hibiscus and a Trachelospermum jasminoides to cover up a fence.  That’s my dream for autumn or spring planting.  For the moment this is how the corner looks now. Each summer I plant a group of annuals to keep the ground covered.  This year it was Zinnias which are filling out now.



IMG_2768A close up of that corner showing the convolvulus cneorum bought at the Beth Chatto garden now in situ among the erigeron karvinskianus.  I’m happy with the front and I hope I will be happy with the back, now I need something mid border to bridge the gap.  I have persicaria on the wish list so maybe there is an opening for it here.


IMG_2770Three 9cm pots of Veronicastrum virginicum ‘Album’ were planted out earlier in the summer.  I have to be patient but next year I am expecting these diminutive plants to transform into dreaming spires of late summer interest. They should reach 1.2m.  Some way to go then!


IMG_2773 (2)In my dreams, particularly in my day dreams, I see a luxuriously verdant garden seamlessly moving from one season to the next.  At this time of the year I find myself struggling.  The summer border becomes increasingly shady as the big fig tree branches out.  There is just enough sun to encourage the roses in a second flowering and this one is Gertrude Jekyll.


IMG_2771A long term dream has been to fit in a water feature.  My original expansive daydream of putting a rill down the middle of the lawn was strongly vetoed and probably rightly so.  Instead I have in mind a much smaller feature to replace this laurel bush.  It also shades the summer border and doesn’t add any great interest to the garden.  Taking it out will leave a large hole – the first step towards the pond.

Dreaming and planning for the garden is much on my mind at the moment.  I was feeling the pressure of exhortations to prepare and plant up for next year.  It was all too much and I left the catalogues on the table and went out into the garden.  Even after the recent rains it was still dry and difficult to work but I relocated a few seedlings, planted out some mid summer purchases, cut back the lavender and rosemary and felt much better for it!

Many thanks to  The Prop for gathering together a diverse crowd of fellow gardeners who share weekly their gardening delights and sometimes the nasties! You are welcome to take a look.







26 thoughts on “Six On Saturday: In my dreams

  1. It’s a shame that your fig tree doesn’t give fruit now … It’s a very beautiful shape, though!
    Don’t you think it would rather be a tree that gives fruit once a year (October with mild weather) instead of mine that fruit twice a year (July (August this summer) and November)? I never eat the second crop, too late and the fruit are not ripe enough and fall during winter …

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have seen some ripe figs on the tree or on the ground – all eaten by birds or squirrels. Just a few fruits though. It looks like biggest crop will in October/November and as you say perhaps this year they will ripen.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m keeping my fig tree small enough that I can cover it with a net to keep birds and fruit bats off, and I’ve had a bit of success with that. There was still enough fruit to eat and to make fig jam.

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  3. Ground elder is a common problem in my gardens. I battle it every year and just when I think I’m winning, it’s back. But even worse is bind weed. That is never ending, but I’m keeping up the fight.
    I love watching gardens evolve and sometimes when starting a new one, it is hard to wait until year 3 to see it become all you’ve envisioned. But with time, we get there.


  4. Sounds like you are doing some great future planning with your white Veronica. We have a big ole fig in our garden which we got a professional to prune hard last winter – it seems to have grown more than ever this year, but what did I expect? Our fruit all falls off in June before it is ripe, but this year I have noticed a second fruiting of tiny figs – would love to have some edible fruit from it one day.

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  5. Slightly playing devil’s advocate but I’m wondering why you keep the fig tree at all. It’ll drop all sorts of rubbish into your water feature, you don’t get much of a crop, less probably if you prune it, you want more colour and it contributes nothing and limits what else you can grow. Visually it’s a big round dark heavy lump in the middle of your garden. It’s not even the only one you have. Just saying.

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    • Have you been in conversation with my husband by any chance!? He is of much the same opinion. For me I feel I’m looking after it for PO. Perhaps that will wear off soon! And of course you are right about it overhanging possible pond – and roots will undoubtedly cause problems….


      • I’ve cut down two Eucalyptus and two Magnolias in this garden in the last few years, three of the four much bigger than your fig. Not easy decisions, not taken lightly, but the right decisions and not regretted since. Sadly, within a few weeks it’s hard to recall what they looked like. It’s very hard to look at your own garden dispassionately.

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      • Since your first comment I keep looking at the garden trying to imagine what it would be like without the fig. I know it would open up the border and give us a better view of it. You have sown a seed for the future!


  6. I am also in my third summer in my garden and slowly getting it to be something that I enjoy. I bought a lot of small plants (large and small plugs, some in 9cm pots) which will take some growing on before making much of an impact and I splashed out on larger plants 2L pots for some instant appeal. Hopefully they will put down good roots so next year they can survive the S&S attacks! Be lovely to see how your garden changes over the next couple of years.

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  7. There are 14 fig trees on one of my garden parcels! OH MY! They are just there as stock trees, to provide cuttings for trees elsewhere. They would not make very good fruit there because it is cool and partly shady. Yet, I can not help but worry about what they would do if they ever got out of control! One well fruited tree is too much!


  8. Besides feeding us, I think the attraction of gardening is the planning, trying to make something inside our head come into being. It’s an act of creativity that makes a patch of ground into our home. As to rills in the middle of the garden, I lived w/one a few gardens back. Lots of maintenance – clearing organic debris from the rill – plus broken pumps, floods, floods & more floods, altho it drew in wonderful varieties of wildlife. Your laurel hole pond’ll probably serve the same purpose w/less work in the long run. I love your little fig – sorry you don’t get the fruit, but it is a beautiful tree. You’ve taken such care of it.

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  9. “Dreaming spires of late summer interest.” Very poetic! We have no trouble at all with our PO-planted fig trees. They are Desert King figs, so the early crop is the main one. The ripe figs are green in colour. It is the perfect variety for our Pacific Northwest climate. Your practice of planting annuals to fill in the spaces is a good idea. I will try it next year.

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