Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Life in Texas

So by now I'm sure you've heard about our weather yesterday. We went from a record-high of 81 degrees to snow in less than 24 hours. Sigh. Is it any wonder that Austin is the garden blogging capital of the world? We have a lot to complain blog about.Our rapids shifts in temperature keep our plants on their toes and down in the dumps, or maybe just confused as heck?

My fig tree is the perfect example. Do you see that perfectly ripe fig? It's DECEMBER! I took this picture on Sunday! I had no ripe figs on this tree all year, and now as we are about to head into a new year, I see not one, not two, but three perfectly ripe figs on my tree.
Poor tree. It's so confused. It's lost almost all of its leaves. The remaining ones have turned lovely shades of yellow and red.

And yet, it's producing the most beautiful figs it ever has. Can you blame the tree? One day it's 70 degrees, the next 90, then 85, then 50, and then back in the 80s. The tree's gone schizo. Half of it believes it's living in the summer. The other half is packing it in for the year.
And the other half of it might just be thirsty. (Oh wait, that makes three halves. Hmm. Maybe the weather is having a similar effect on me.) I haven't watered it during this drought.
The fig tree came with the house but not with instructions. I may have learned a thing or two about flowers and vegetables but fruit trees are still a bit out of my range. (Should I mention that I learned the hard way [pun intended] that figs don't ripen once they've been picked?)

For all I know, the tree is throwing everything at me to get my attention face time on my blog.

Attention granted.


  1. It came with the house, Vertie? Do you usually get figs every year? Lucky you!

    I planted my small fig a couple of seasons ago - this year nothing developed until late fall and now there are two half-grown figs on the tree which will probably freeze.Maybe both of us didn't water enough?

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  2. I planted a fig tree this year too and had some figs early on that never ripened. I think the drought took them down. Maybe one year, you, Annie and I will all have a bounty!

  3. I planted a fig, actually two of them...with hopes that I would get to see beautiful leaves...the leaves are fabulous. There has been no expectation of fruit...and that is good because there has been none! We have lso had a drought.


  4. Yes, weird weather. But at least you have a CHANCE to grow some figs. No chance of figs in my garden.

    Carol, May Dreams Gardens

  5. My tree has no figs, no leaves, but check this, it is budding! I agree, this tree is totally confused. Have you seen the one at the back entrance to the Big Red Sun, down the back alley, a mighty fine specimen.

  6. I just planted a bareroot 'Celeste' fig last winter, and so far, no figs. How do you know when they're ripe?

    So far all of the leaves on my fig tree are still green, but I do water it, since it hasn't had a chance to settle in yet. I'm looking forward to the prospect of some more fall color, though!

  7. It seems like a lot of us are fig growers! My sad tale with this tree is as follows:
    First year living here: noticed it had fruit on it. Decided to make jam like my grandmother used to make. Harvested all my figs and all my neighbors. They weren't ripe and never did ripen.
    Another year: Tree had a lot of fruit but I didn't get many before the birds and squirrels did. I asked a farmer at the farmers' market for his solution. He said 4 dogs were good. Wasn't a dog person then. Instead festooned it with sparkly ornaments. Did no good.
    Another year: Got a dog. I guess she's helped some, but the birds know when she's inside.
    Last year with the deluge: got several to enjoy just eating. Never did get enough for jam.
    This year: this post.

    Maybe next year will be our fig season!

  8. I like your focus...nice blog. And, must have a little micro-climate, how many other people have figs??? Not I.

  9. Hi Vertie, Enjoy your blog.

    Here's what my dad says about your weird winter figs (His fig trees in LaGrange were planted the year he was born- 65 years ago, they are massive and every summer he lifts me in the scoop of the tractor to help harvest them)He says the figs you are getting now are called old wood figs and you'll often get a few in the winter. Sometimes they mature and sometimes not depending on the weather. Mine all fell off green last year.

    As to the birds and squirrels I don't know what to tell you. Although, I have a neighbor who says a friend of hers puts a tiny baby sock on each green fig as it ripens to protect it from the critters. I'm not sure I'm that desperate. Anyway the bigger your tree gets the better your odds, right? And just think, at least you don't have deer. They eat all my dads' figs up to about 8 feet. They stand on their back legs to nibble up high.

    Good Luck!