Strawberries in the Desert

My potted fig is thriving.

It’s just over two years since I planted it and it’s taken to the wall down the skinny side of the house like…well, like a slug takes to lettuce.

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We can squeeze past to prune it because it’s pinned to the wall. Espaliered.

Branches bud in late August, leaves unfurl in September and tiny fruit appears from October onwards, gradually swelling into heavy globes – 24 this year, a bumper crop!

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As the fruit begins to darken – indicating it’s almost ripe enough to eat – something eats it.

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Vaseline on the trunk had no effect, so ants weren’t the culprits – although they certainly enjoyed the leftovers – and Maggie would surely have chased away any possums. It had to be birds. Netting was useless, they just pecked through it.

So in desperation I bagged some of the branches. It doesn’t look pretty.

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But guess…

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