Tuesday, 12 September 2006

Today, I'm mostly......

gardening. Hacking away at the weeds with a scythe. I like using a scythe, but the Sage doesn't trust me not to cut my feet off so I'm only allowed to use it if he's within shrieking distance.

It is very hot. But there are satisfying swathes of recumbent greenery where there had been malevolently threatening nettles (previously left, I pretend, for the sake of the caterpillars).

And I picked the morning's crop of figs. The highest-up ones are being left for the birds; there are enough to share.

I'd wanted to plant a fig tree for ages, but didn't have anywhere suitable. Then my husband built a new workshop and it gave me a south-facing wall. We dug out a 2 foot cube and lined it with 5 x 2 foot paving slabs. The reason for this is that a fig tree is vigorous and you need to restrict the roots, otherwise it will grow huge, take longer to fruit and the figs will be too high up to reach. We refilled with lots of manure and compost and firmed down the soil hard after replanting. We do water it once in a while, but it's pretty good-natured and needs no work at all. Though I might have to prune it eventually and I'd have to look up what to do.

It's a Brown Turkey fig and it's been there about 6 years I should think. It started fruiting within a year or two and now has loads, although it depends on the season. It isn't actually in full sun as there is an ash tree a few yards away. The figs are gorgeous, juicy and delicious.

12 comments:

banana said...

lovely figs. courier some to london to me...hehehhehe

Z said...

I'll send them by *courier* pigeon.

Geena said...

What an evil looking instrument..isn't that what the Death Angel carries? (In comics)..no wonder Sage won't let you near it. I wouldn't let myself near it.

Figs...oh how lush...baked, with a dusting of vanilla sugar and honey drizzled over, served with fresh cream...yummy. Or served with mousse de canard...oooh..

Fig jam with walnuts...

I am salivating.

Z said...

The post nearly had the heading 'The Grimy Reaper'. I still rather wish I had used it and probably will, sooner or later.

I do use the scythe, but under supervision. I am a wilful wife and the Sage indulges me - this is a new one in fact as the last finally fell apart last year.

It's not hard or dangerous to use if you are careful. You can get a satisfying swing going. Not to be used with children about. Or pets. Or in a bad temper.

Figs, mmmmmm

stitchwort said...

Something VERY satisfying about using a simple tool effectively!
And the nettles are an indicator of good fertile soil, as well as encouraging wild-life, and possibly providing a remedy for rheumatism.

Z said...

Wild-life feels very encouraged in my garden, Stitchwort. I leave the slugs for the frogs, the aphids for the birds and ladybirds, the nettles for the butterflies, the snails for the thrushes ....... you get the picture. I pick off asparagus beetle and gooseberry sawfly larvae however, as nothing likes to eat them.

Do you eat the nettles or rub them in, to ward off rheumatism? Aren't bee-stings supposed to be good for rheumatism too?

The Boy said...

I don't trust myself with a scythe, I'm far to clumsy me. Can't be trusted with blunt scisors, and I'm always knicking myself when getting tea ready.

Those figs look fab. How do you grow them here, against a nice warm wall? I think our garden would be too cold.

Z said...

Hello Boy - I'm still salivating happily at the description of your Sunday lunch, so whatever you do in the kitchen is effective, if painful for you.

I'll add info about the fig tree to the post.

Chairwoman of the bored said...

What is it with men and sharp implements? Some years ago my parents gave my inlaws an electric carving knife. My father-in-law forbade my mother-in-law to use it unless he was in the room!

Z said...

Hello Chairwoman, oh that's funny. What did he think he could do if she lost control?
I like to think it's the sweetly protective nature of my husband that makes him want to look after me. And he did expend the best part of £50 on the new scythe for me and gave me no unwanted advice at all, so I'm inclined to be tolerant.

stitchwort said...

Apparently nettles help your rheumatism if you roll naked in them - aids the circulation.
You'd have to have screens round, I think, or you'd be aiding the circulation of some interesting photographs!

Z said...

er.......thanks Stitchwort. That will be very useful. If only I had rheumatism, I'd certainly put that to the test.