Tuesday, October 18, 2016
The Fig Tree
I just had a terrible night's sleep. I woke up around 2:30 a.m. and I couldn't get to sleep again -- not soundly, anyway. For one thing, the covers were in disarray, with the bedspread sliding to the floor beneath the blanket, which was pulled up way too high, and the sheet was in a wad somewhere beneath it all. If it had just been me in the bed, I'd have gotten up and remade the whole thing.
Also, the dog's face was jammed into my stomach so firmly that I could feel her eyes twitching. I could have moved her, I suppose, but she weighs 40-plus pounds. And you know how even the smallest tasks seem monumental in the middle of the night.
When I finally did drift into a doze, somewhere around 5 a.m., I had very weird dreams. I dreamed that Dave was buying shrimp from a man who brought it to our back door. I said to him, "We have a walled garden. How is that man getting shrimp to the back of the house?" No answer. Par for the course in my dreams, which are not great on plot resolution.
In other news, see that dead-looking plant? It's a fig tree. I found it, in much livelier condition, while walking the dog about a week ago. It was leaning against the public recycling bins near West End Green, and even had a helpful paper label attached to one of its branches: FIG TREE. Clearly someone expected it to be adopted.
I brought it home, marveling that such a big tree could grow in such a tiny pot. But then I realized the pot once had roots growing out the bottom, and those roots were cut when the tree was moved. Which is why it promptly withered away.
I considered throwing it out, but it smells so nice. Fig trees have the sweetest, most amazing aroma. They remind me of Morocco. Besides, they're vigorous growers, and I'm thinking we may be able to save it.
Dave and I have debated what to do. I think we're going to put it in a bigger pot against the wall in the photo -- it's a southern exposure and definitely the sunniest, warmest part of our garden. I hope the tree has enough roots to keep the wood alive until it can recover from its shock and regrow some leaves. We may prune it way back so it won't have to support so much growth right away. For the time being, we've moved it to a shadier spot at the back of the garden -- our plant ICU.
(Top photo: Colorful grape leaves in a mews near the West Hampstead tube station, yesterday.)