|Amazingly, my vine is alive. But my fig tree is dead.
||[Jun. 3rd, 2014|02:52 pm]
Not a metaphor. I have a vine and a fig tree. Yes, it's because of the quote from Micah 4: "They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation shall not take up sword against nation; they shall never again know war. But every person shall sit under his grapevine and fig tree with no one to disturb him." But in this case, "my vine is alive but my fig tree is dead" is literal.|
But, yeah. It IS possible to grow a dwarf Turkish fig in climate Zone 4, which is where Boston is -- but you have to do it in a large pot and take it inside over the winter. And it still stresses it. I did well for a number of years, and even got the occasional fig from it, but it looks like it's just plain given up. I don't think there's any life in it at all. I tried some replanting stuff with it, and we'll see, but I think it's just plain gone. Hard to tell with plants sometimes.
Which brings me to the grapevine. The one which the incompetents who I paid to tidy up my yard last year cut down, because they seemed to think it was a weed.
It's thriving. I never got around to taking down the trellis over where the thing was, and I looked over, and the trellis was covered in a vine, so I went over to weed it -- and it was a grapevine. And it's TALLER than the trellis now. I have no idea when that happened. It seems to be sprouting up like a ... like a vine or something. I'm going to train it around the downspout of the gutter, and then see if I can't get it to take over the porch. Because grapevine.
It's a Concord grapevine, if I remember correctly, which means that it is SPECIFICALLY a Zone 4 grape.
Concords are really tough grapes, from my experience. Too bad about the fig, though.
I'll try again at some point. But, yeah, on the whole, my goal in gardening is to grow things that are basically weeds and hard to kill. Raspberries, grapes, lilacs, hops, honeysuckle -- I'm thinking of putting in rosebushes at some point. Basically, various forms of thorn thickets and aggressive vines.
Oh, yeah. We have catmint in the side yard, and are intending to carpet the front with a mix of Corsican mint and woolly thyme. But those two haven't taken off yet.
Growing up we had a Concord grape arbor that had been planted by some previous owner of the house. My sister and I got so excited when it grew grapes every year, and one time we ate them.
Boy were we surprised! Not only were they not good eating, they had two huge seeds in them.
If mom had been so inclined, there would have been more than enough grapes for jelly, however.
I like Concord grapes. You just have to remember that they don't taste anything like any of the Old-World-derived grapes. They taste like Welsch's grape juice, grape jelly, Manischewitz wine, and artificial grape flavored soda and candy. None of which taste like grapes, other than Concord grapes.
And yes, seeds.
I think grapes are supposed to be pruned -- not perhaps as vigorously as your mistaken person did it, but pruned.
I know that grapes are in the same category of plants as lilacs: the meaner you are to them, the better they do.
We had our main grape vine cut back to nearly nothing about 10 years ago. It took one year to recover and has been producing massive quantities of grapes every fall since then.
This won't revive your fig tree, but the USDA thinks Boston and surroundings are zone 5b. (It may have been zone 4 within your or my memory; one of the things global warming is doing is changing the growing zones.)