Courtyard Garden : Do I Give a Fig @TheMontyDon #courtyardgarden #gardening @BarryLillie1 @mishaherwin @KTScribbles

Finally we are coming out of the long dark winter and even my tiny city courtyard has a few gems to share.

Today I was tidying up my fig tree.  (Picture is of fruits taken last year)

This tree was bought back in the late 1990s in the remaindered section of a garden centre in Birmingham where I lived at the time.

It was a poor bedraggled item that was growing almost horizontally, and was no more than 30cm high; and costing the princely sum of £8.  At that time fig trees were far less commonly available than they are now and a decent specimen would have cost 4 or 5 times that,  and as I’d had previously had success with ‘hospital section’ plants I took a gamble.

For several years it was just a ‘nice’ plant that I kept in a pot as I gradually coaxed it upright with stakes and canes.

Since that time it has moved house three times and been potted-on at least five times over the past 20+ years and is just over 6 feet high. I have kept it potted partly to prevent it from romping away into a sprawling tree with plenty of leaves and few fruits, as can happen in this country. and partly to make it easy to move.  Now that we have such a small space to work with  in The Courtyard it works well on its very large pot. Every year we harvest 30 or 40 fruits and I see it as an old friend.

The pot is plastic, sadly,  but one day I shall treat it to a terracotta home – when I have taken out a loan to buy one large enough 🙂

This morning I decided to remove some of the lower branches, which often become tangled with plants and shrubs in surrounding containers and levered one of the long, whippy branches poking out at the front of the pot. Because it has been damp of late the soil was looser than usual and as I gave it a light pull to get the secateurs as low as possible  and snipped, the whole ‘branch’ came away, complete with a very healthy amount of root.

Not a branch, then, but a sucker.

Not being one to waste a plant of any kind where at all possible the new tree was potted up temporarily until I can get in some new bags of compost and give it a new home in one of the vacant large pots.

It is already larger than its parent was when I got it, and has small fruitlets forming! I fully expect they will drop off from the shock of replanting but meanwhile I have a new fig tree for free.

New plant in its blue temporary pot in front of its parent tree.

*Happy gardener dance” !

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