The Invincible Fig

Fig Tree in container in A Garden For All by Kathy Diemer https://agardenforall.com

Fig Tree growing in a container (photo by: Kathy Diemer)

Back in 2012, I posted an article about figs, titled “Just Figs.” It was a story of my love at first sight experiences with a fig tree (Ficus carica), and the learning curves growing a zone 7-11 tree in a much colder zone, (click here to read: Just Figs ). I found that when the cold weather arrived, a well lit, insulated garage provided the perfect spot to overwinter a non-hardy fig tree . . . and several years later, that same spot in the garage served as a protective shelter from the raging fire that consumed our entire home in January of 2015.

The Fire's Destruction in A Garden For All by Kathy Diemer https://agardenforall.com

What was left after the fire (Photo: Kathy Diemer)

When the fire was finally extinguished, amongst the collapsed structure and rubble stood a container with a few burnt stems protruding from it. Though we didn’t have much hope that bitterly cold day, we loaded the charred remnants of the fig tree into a trailer and drove it to our friend’s heated garage. In all the chaos that followed; finding a temporary home, food, clothes and caring for our remaining pets, we forgot all about the fig tree. [Read more…]

What Our Plants Teach Us

Burned rhododendron in A Garden For All by Kathy Diemer https://agardenforall.com

The charred remains of foundation plantings (Photo by: Kathy Diemer)

The durability of plants never ceases to amaze me. A seed is planted, occasionally sprinkled with water, and bears luscious fruit within a few months. A forest decimated in a raging fire quickly produces new growth, emerging victorious. Monstrous trees grow from the seemingly impervious rock walls of a mountainside. Plants are simply amazing. And if I’ve learned anything from gardening these many decades, it is that plants have a lesson for us. A lesson about persevering, no matter the odds.

A rainbow of colors displayed in iris petals in A Garden For All by Kathy Diemer https://agardenforall.com

The colors of the rainbow are displayed in the petals of this iris (Photo by: Kathy Diemer)

Look closely and you will witness plant miracles every day. The miracle of a gorgeous coneflower blossom in hues that challenge the color wheel. The marvel of a lobelia’s scarlet flower providing nourishing nectar for a visiting hummingbird. Or the intricate petals of a bearded iris, laid out like a hand of cards displaying all the shades of the rainbow. Our landscape plants withstand winter’s horrendous cold and summer’s intense heat and drought without succumbing. Sure, they may wilt a bit, or even turn brown under extreme conditions, but give them a little love, and they’re right back to status quo. [Read more…]

Just Figs

Figs ripening on the tree in A Garden For All by Kathy Diemer https://agardenforall.com

Figs ripening on the tree (photo by: Kathy Diemer)

I became enamored with figs the moment I saw a voluptuous tree in my friend’s greenhouse.  What initially intrigued me were the bold, deep green tropical leaves.  And then my gardening friend, Victoria, told me it actually produces fruit!  Wow, now you’ve really piqued my interest.  I started asking Victoria more questions, such as: what kind of care do they require, how do I overwinter and will it fit in my car?  She assured me that figs grow easily in a container, the only requirements are lots of sun, water and occasional (organic) fertilizing.  The tricky part was over-wintering (unless you live in zones 7B-11), which entails finding a spot inside that will provide natural light and above freezing temperatures. [Read more…]

A Garden for All