A lot of exciting things happen at Ginkgo, but perhaps the most spectacular is the annual unearthing of the fig trees. On May 11th our volunteers set to work digging gingerly and bringing the trees back up into daylight.
For those that are unclear, let's review:
Figs like ours are typically found in the Mediterranean where the winters are mild and no one puts lawn chairs in parking spots that they spent 45 minutes shoveling out. We insulate our figs against this harsh winter by burying the trees around Halloween. We wrap the trees, dig a large hole beside each one, dig around the root balls and tip the trees down into the holes while trying to maintain the long, vital, tap root. Following this, we lay something sturdy (plywood) across the hole and cover it with soil to keep an insulated even temperature in the chamber below ground. We then dig up the trees in spring, water and wait for delicious fruit.
During this process last fall we had to make a rather drastic cut to the tap root of our larger fig tree in order to bend it into the ground. There is a lot of anticipation concerning the consequences of that cut, but when we dug it up, there were signs that the tree was going to make it. Fruit continued to grow, even below ground, and new growth was evident.
The meretricious draw of figs should be enough to lure you to the garden this season, but until they have begun to fruit, our lilacs will drive you wild.