Our garden, planted by an already forgotten Columban, continues to amaze me.
Now it is producing figs. Last year we had none, now we have a tree-full of them.
A few months ago we discovered a branch with half a dozen brown and mature fruit on it. They were delicious. Now the fruit is plentiful but small and green. With no sun to warm them they are never likely to ripen.
Wasn’t there a story that Adam and Eve used fig leaves as their first clothing? Our fig tree is now without a fig leaf but has plenty of immature fruit. All we can do with them is see them as a warning about people who show a lot of promise but never deliver.
Figs are one of the first plants cultivated by humans and thrive in the Mediterranean area and western Asia. China produces 2,800 metric tons a year mainly in Xinjiang, in the papers these days for more than fruit. They call it the ‘flower-less fruit’ and even when our tree had leaves earlier in the year it never had flowers.
There is an often quoted verse in the Bible that says it is happiness for ‘each to lie under their own vine and fig tree’. You might not believe it but there is a vine planted next to our fig tree though we have not seen a trace of a grape on it yet. Perhaps next year it will thrive too and, if there is room, we can sit beneath our own vine and our own fig tree and wonder what’s the next surprise our garden will produce.