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    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 18th Jun 17, 9:15 AM
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    moneyistooshorttomention
    fig tree
    • #1
    • 18th Jun 17, 9:15 AM
    fig tree 18th Jun 17 at 9:15 AM
    Now decided on having a fig tree in my garden.

    I'll need one that will grow as fast as these things do (...and that is going to include buying one that is already as large as possible). Main reason for having it being to help with privacy and blocking out neighbours eyesores - but it would be good to have some figs too.

    The plan is to put it in a large wood half-barrel container.

    Any thoughts:

    - ie what type is best to get. I know I'm used to seeing them growing - hence I'm going to have one too. But I don't know whether I have to be more careful as to what one I choose because of the West Wales climate - tiny bit colder/lots of rain/lots of wind and it's sometimes up to gale force level (as I've never yet spotted any fig trees here).

    - good supplier for well-grown fig trees

    - good supplier for suitable container for it (ie that wood half-barrel).

    etc
    #MeToo

    Why should our needs override the needs of all other living species? What makes us so special? (Brigit Strawbridge)
Page 1
    • DaftyDuck
    • By DaftyDuck 18th Jun 17, 10:25 AM
    • 3,803 Posts
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    DaftyDuck
    • #2
    • 18th Jun 17, 10:25 AM
    • #2
    • 18th Jun 17, 10:25 AM
    You may struggle. As you know, I'm on the hotter, dryer side of this continent of ours, and I grow a lot of figs along one of my barn walls. Over there, in the damp, you may struggle in winter. It won't be the cold that will cause problems, but the damp. Mildew setting in in late autumn and spring will be a problem. The wind can either strip or damage leaves, and may lose the fruit.

    However, growing in a pot should help, as you can ensure good drainage. I would buy locally, from a garden centre, for anything like that. You are in luck, because the commonest variety, brown turkey, is one of the cool and damp resistant varieties.

    But, for screening? Late to gain leaves, early to lose them, and really best against a preexisting wall... Not sure about that.
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 18th Jun 17, 1:38 PM
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    moneyistooshorttomention
    • #3
    • 18th Jun 17, 1:38 PM
    • #3
    • 18th Jun 17, 1:38 PM
    Hmmm.....food for thought.

    There is the pre-existing wall thing there = tick.

    Right at this exact moment - there is still a fair bit of shade on the site in my garden I've earmarked for this. But part of my reasoning is I think the odds are pretty good/trans. very good that the neighbours tree that is shading that bit of my garden might well land up getting removed soon (as they seem to be on a mission to get rid bit by bit of every flippin' tree the other side of my garden wall) and part of my reasoning here is what I can do about dealing with the resultant "barren look" from my pov from them doing that. I wouldnt be at all surprised if their tree (that is doing a lot of shading of that particular little bit of my garden) vanishes within months

    So my main criteria is dealing with the "barren look" that is steadily happening beyond my back garden and a bit of hiding of concrete beyond from another neighbour (being in an area where there is a lot of "concrete" around...concrete block houses/concrete on the ground in gardens/concrete to the left of me to the right of me...you get the picture). I'm used to "greenery"/more "natural" and hence wondering what to do to ensure "garden type stuff/greenery" as what I'm seeing.

    All suggestions welcome as to what can go in that particular little section of my garden that will be "big" (but not too big for a small garden)/good at hiding eyesores/etc welcome. If it's useful as well (ie provides food) then that's an added bonus - but the "hiding gardens/houses beyond" is my main priority here...

    The Main Thing I'm having to do re my garden here is deal with "barren/barren/barren" (both in my own garden and hiding all that concrete in surrounding "gardens" and houses) and make things more "green"/garden-like.
    Last edited by moneyistooshorttomention; 18-06-2017 at 1:44 PM.
    #MeToo

    Why should our needs override the needs of all other living species? What makes us so special? (Brigit Strawbridge)
    • DaftyDuck
    • By DaftyDuck 18th Jun 17, 3:29 PM
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    DaftyDuck
    • #4
    • 18th Jun 17, 3:29 PM
    • #4
    • 18th Jun 17, 3:29 PM
    Well, if there's shade there now, a fig will struggle. They like it dry, hot, sunny, dry and hot, with all the sun they can get. Mine bake on a south-facing 60' long, 20' high barn wall that, at the moment, is 37°C (!). The soil is light and sandy, aside from the rubble mix of bricks, cement and crushed breeze blocks resultant from a few hundred years of being a dumping ground. They were only planted there a bit over a year ago (brought as cuttings from the last place), and are each nigh on ten feet high and wide... and growing fast.

    Frankly, with almost all gardening, my advice is "give it a go". Not so much with slow-growing plants, or ones that involve quality rootstock or grafts (so, roses I'd say splash out and buy posh), but with a plant like fig, why not? You can buy a small plant for a couple of quid, or a large one for twenty or thirty... but it will only be a year or two older. Bung it in any pot to start with (sure, a barrel later, but start it off in a shoe box or milk carton and it will grow... they are fighters!.

    Bit contradictory, I know. I'm far from sure it will grow well, but it might well. For a few quid, buy a small one (any cheap unlabelled variety is quite likely to be brown turkey, even a supermarket plant).

    When they grow, they don't half rocket in all directions!
    • Farway
    • By Farway 18th Jun 17, 3:46 PM
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    Farway
    • #5
    • 18th Jun 17, 3:46 PM
    • #5
    • 18th Jun 17, 3:46 PM
    I'm with DD on this, I have a couple, mine were Lidl & Wilkinson's. Unnamed but guessing Brown Turkey. Only little pot plants at the time, now quite large & fruiting in pots, fairly sheltered Hampshire east / west facing

    How about a thornless blackberry? Or if your local hedgerows are full of free ones, try a hybrid, like Tayberry, loganberry, Boysenberry or wineberry?

    Not grown any except Blackberry & Loganberry, but from those others I have seen they seem fairly good "doers"
    • Mojisola
    • By Mojisola 18th Jun 17, 3:48 PM
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    Mojisola
    • #6
    • 18th Jun 17, 3:48 PM
    • #6
    • 18th Jun 17, 3:48 PM
    I'll need one that will grow as fast as these things do (...and that is going to include buying one that is already as large as possible).

    Main reason for having it being to help with privacy and blocking out neighbours eyesores - but it would be good to have some figs too.
    Originally posted by moneyistooshorttomention
    Wouldn't something evergreen be better?
    • phoebe1989seb
    • By phoebe1989seb 18th Jun 17, 6:47 PM
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    phoebe1989seb
    • #7
    • 18th Jun 17, 6:47 PM
    • #7
    • 18th Jun 17, 6:47 PM
    We're currently in a fairly damp/chilly location (just on the Staffs side of the border with Shropshire) and have a huge fig (20' wide x 18' high approx x goodness know how deep!) that bears plenty of fruit.

    However, it's south-facing, planted against a massive early Victorian brick wall just above our spring-fed pond which is a very sheltered sun trap

    Not sure of the variety as it was planted by a previous owner......and I have to confess we've never picked the fruit.

    We also have a 'brown turkey' that we planted in a pot some ten years ago and it's never grown beyond 2' or borne a single fig. This is its third home - we move a lot, lol - but it's always been placed in a sunny, south-facing location against a wall. Think the pot might have been too large originally?

    I'd also be looking for something evergreen in your position, Money......I get your desire for a plant that does more than obscure the unsightly view, though!

    Soon after buying this house (2.5 years ago) we planted a fairly large trachycarpus and phormium to do a similar job. Both are now in excess of 8' and a clump of bamboo - I know, everyone seems to hate it - planted at the same time is now approaching 12'!

    We also planted some espaliered apple trees to block a view, but again these aren't evergreen of course......
    Last edited by phoebe1989seb; 19-06-2017 at 12:46 AM. Reason: Whoops, typo!
    Paid off mortgage early - mortgage-free since age 40 (2007)

    Over £40,000 mis-sold PPI reclaimed
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 18th Jun 17, 9:48 PM
    • 13,952 Posts
    • 37,911 Thanks
    moneyistooshorttomention
    • #8
    • 18th Jun 17, 9:48 PM
    • #8
    • 18th Jun 17, 9:48 PM
    Oh well - does look like a fig tree might not be another thing I have to jettison from my "This is what my garden will be like when I get final house" list. The grapevine had already gone when I found out which house (well - location...) it would be in...

    Plan B I guess. Something evergreen of the large shrub (not "old lady" variety type shrub)/small tree variety or possibly a suitable evergreen climber(??) that I can put in that spot (ie a corner of my garden where two walls join each other - and I need something I can buy pretty fully-grown and that will hopefully spread along top of walls somewhat.

    All suggestions welcome then - and I'll just have to hope it can also be useful - but if it cant it cant....
    #MeToo

    Why should our needs override the needs of all other living species? What makes us so special? (Brigit Strawbridge)
    • gamston
    • By gamston 19th Jun 17, 7:17 AM
    • 439 Posts
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    gamston
    • #9
    • 19th Jun 17, 7:17 AM
    • #9
    • 19th Jun 17, 7:17 AM
    our old neighbour in Essex gave me 2 small fig trees last summer,
    he has 3 yr old one that we around 8-ft tall with same spread, its in the middle of their garden, but its fairly protected from the wind as there are other houses nearby
    had ours in pouch all winter, but they were out in the last froze we had up here, lost all their leaves, only just getting any leaves on them now
    we live in notts with a windy garden, so you need to think about weather conditions
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 19th Jun 17, 7:52 AM
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    Davesnave
    I live near the fig capital of Devon, or so it seems, judging by the number in our small town's back gardens. I've been into around 40 of those and probably around 1/3 have a fig somewhere. There's even one in the square on the public path.

    We are wild, wet and, woolly, (like your place, though not so warm in winter) but the fig plants do fine, mainly because they're growing in front of walls which keep the winds at bay and trap the sun's heat. In my own microclimate, the south-facing barnyard would be fine for my figs, if it weren't for all the stuff I have parked there 'temporarily,' so they sit in pots in the polytunnel. Pots aren't ideal. They need a lot of watering. Nevertheless, I had my first fig yesterday....

    But would I grow a fig for a screen? No. I'd grow evergreen plants that take the worst of the winter weather and look good all year round, like the yews which were planted in 2012 and now form a wind-proof barrier, almost hiding our view of the polytunnel.

    Screening plants that grow fast will give you maintenance problems later on, so a balance has to be struck. For example, my eucalyptus has grown about 20' in 5 years, so it's made a feature very fast, but I have a chain saw and the ability bump it off next winter now it's done its job, while slower plants have grown underneath. Other, better hedging shrubs, like holm oak, have only grown around 5' in that time.
    Last edited by Davesnave; 19-06-2017 at 7:54 AM.
    'A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they'll never sit in.'
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 19th Jun 17, 7:54 AM
    • 13,952 Posts
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    moneyistooshorttomention
    Thinking last night that ivy, for instance, would "fit the bill" perfectly at that point (say with a bit of trellis on top of the wall to take it up somewhat higher)

    - but I've come to positively loathe ivy over the last couple of year (it's gone from feeling a bit "wild"/mysterious and sort of thing found in semi-wild type gardens etc and done by choice to "It's blimmin' everywhere here......cheap....boring......boring"

    EDIT; Cross-posted with you Dave. Think my main problem in the garden here is the gales. They are rather frequent here - and I'm rather used to having to put things back in position in the garden at noticeable intervals and I simply can't have anything "lightweight"...darn it. Hence the problem - as I'm in process of creating a West Country garden as best I can in West Wales.
    Last edited by moneyistooshorttomention; 19-06-2017 at 8:00 AM.
    #MeToo

    Why should our needs override the needs of all other living species? What makes us so special? (Brigit Strawbridge)
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 19th Jun 17, 8:34 AM
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    Davesnave

    EDIT; Cross-posted with you Dave. Think my main problem in the garden here is the gales. They are rather frequent here - and I'm rather used to having to put things back in position in the garden at noticeable intervals and I simply can't have anything "lightweight"...darn it. Hence the problem - as I'm in process of creating a West Country garden as best I can in West Wales.
    Originally posted by moneyistooshorttomention

    I didn't recommend anything 'lightweight.' At 500' up on a hill, I don't do lightweight. I'm saying you need structure on boundaries which can filter the wind.

    Holm oak is a very common windbreak plant at the seaside. Anywhere coastal along the West Country's entire northern coastline will have exactly the same gales as you experience.

    You seem to think your situation is odd, but apart from naff soil, also present in Devon, though not where I am, fortunately, it's probably more favourable than many other locations, judging by the amount of early potatoes grown nearby.
    'A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they'll never sit in.'
    • Farway
    • By Farway 19th Jun 17, 2:18 PM
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    Farway
    Thinking last night that ivy, for instance, would "fit the bill" perfectly at that point (say with a bit of trellis on top of the wall to take it up somewhat higher)

    - but I've come to positively loathe ivy over the last couple of year (it's gone from feeling a bit "wild"/mysterious and sort of thing found in semi-wild type gardens etc and done by choice to "It's blimmin' everywhere here......cheap....boring......boring"

    .
    Originally posted by moneyistooshorttomention
    There are some very colourful ivies around, not all are dull green & boring. nad they are tough, plus good for creepy crawlies & birds. I once had wrens nesting in mine
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