29 January, 2010

Figs, olives and apples

Our fig trees are laden with masses of luscious ripe figs. When I eat the fruit, straight from the tree, it is usually warm and sun baked. But this morning we had high cloud again, and the fruit was cool. Thru the kitchen window we hear the starlings feasting with delight, who used to nest in the gutters, next to our insulated metal roof. The bird on the nest was often standing on the outer edge, beak a gape. And delighted to go off duty, and have a quick bathe in the pond. Or at least to catch a quick drink, before dashing off shrieking - Food, Food, Food, they always want more Food!!! There are also a crowd of red faced mouse birds - with their long tails, and jaunty little crests. But too shy, and gone, before the camera was out. 


The apple trees are looking good. That is, lots of healthy green foliage. Even the ratty old stubs, have been grateful for food and water, and sent out lots of fresh branches. So will have to prune carefully to rejuvenate the old trees we inherited. We have. Five? apples on three trees.

First granadilla of this season

Somewhat mystified why the plums are now sulking. Leaves yes. But no fruit. Think we forgot to feed them. And I thought they didn't need pruning every year?

Australian brush cherry

Then the Australian brush cherry. Again inherited. Huge trees. Bit like cypress leylandii. The Ungardener has already sawed the top off once. In many, huge chunks. But we will have to do it again. Glad it hides the neighbours garage, but that is only the ONE storey, while the trees are at least two storeys high. They do produce an amazing amount of fruit. Which lies on the driveway, so the birds prefer the figs, or grapes thank you. Love to pick the new leaves, which have a wonderful burgundy colour. Good with deep red roses.

Winter's glow

The first two olives, planted as street trees, have grown huge. Need to be pruned. Lecchino variety, but no olives yet. The newest 8, planted down the driveway. Frantoia - have already got FRUIT. And they are just little teenage saplings! Both varieties chosen to grow quickly, but they are for oil, rather than eating, so we are told. Olives are obliging trees, which can be pruned to fit the shape in your mind's eye.

First OLIVES!!

Citrus trees at the Mediterranean Sun Circle. Mr Washington has his first orange. Just the one. Still bright lime green, and the size of a golf ball.

Photos and written 
by Diana of  Elephant's Eye 


  1. WOW! It sure looks tasty / gittan

  2. Diana, do fig trees bear flowers? I think I'm asking a silly question but I'm wondering why some of us call it the 'no-flower fruit'

  3. Fig trees are also very ubiquitous here in my area of the US. I've never eaten a fig in my life, but my husband says people love them lol. I love the trees themselves, I want to plant one.

  4. Hi Diana! I haven't seen green figs, only brown ones in stores. I would love to try a fresh fig. It's an exotic fruit for me.

  5. Sounds like a luscious array you have.

    When figs are ripe here, I eat my way around the tree. We've devised a way to use much less sugar to preserve them, just cook them in a thin sugar syrup and freeze. My husband enjoys them with breakfast. I drained some and used them to make a fig and walnut loaf using a recipe I found online and it was tasty, tasty.

  6. Autumnbelle - technically, the botanists (no L plates here) says the flowers are INside. What you can see in the picture, at the non-stalk end of the fruit, is an opening, giving access to tiny wasps for fertilisation of those hidden flowers. Which we eat. Kind of like broccoli, or cauliflower, artichokes.

    Tatyana - they go from green to yellow. People harvest the first crop, to make green fig preserve.

    Nell Jean - I remember you mentioned that. Did you post a recipe?

    Kyna - welcome to Elephant's Eye. Your husband can include us in the 'people love figs!'

  7. Yum..must be so lovely to eat straight off the tree! Lucky! beautiful post!

  8. I ate figs straight from the tree for the first time this past year when we visited Oregon. Delicious! Now I want to plant a fig tree. Your fruit trees look luscious.

  9. First of all...I have never eaten a fresh fig. I'm told by others that it's a truly delightful experience and spoils the person for eating dried figs forevermore.

    In reading your notes to me, I'm puzzled by a couple of things. First, what program are you using as a web browser? Maybe that has some problem that I can't see (I use Safari/Macs) Secondly, if you find the window part where comments are written too small, (in that you want to see more of your post at one time), depending on what browser you're using, the bottom right-hand corner of the space where you write in can be dragged and enlarged for writing purposes, as can (almost) any window in your browser. This may not work in all browsers. I've just launched Firefox and I can make the popup window itself (with all comments) as large as I want, but not the box where we write comments. Any page, dialog box, etc that has two or three diagonal lines in the bottom righthand corner can be dragged to resize--including this one of yours. Plus there should be a scrollbar appear, as there is in this comment box because of the epistle I'm writing you. :-)

    The reason you have to click on my '36 comments' to see them is because I have my settings arranged to show 5 posts on the front page. I changed that to test it, but when you land on my 'front page', you're landing on the home page of the entire blog. Clicking on the particular post you want, either the title of the post on the main page, or on the sidebar/archives, will bring you to a view that shows all the comments.

    The reason I (and many others) don't like these embedded forms is that it takes as much as three refreshes to get a comment posted. The first time, it says, "comment can't be published." The second time, we get presented with a captcha, and the third time, it says 'comment will be published after approval." If someone has limited time or a slow-loading browser/slow internet speed, they will get exasperated and move on. Or, in some cases, if they have multiple windows open, they may write a comment, click 'post comment' once, move on to another window, and realize later-or not at all--that their comment hasn't gone through.

    On my blog, I simply approve all comments before they're published. I'm a nerd and write fulltime for a living, so I'm usually at my computer, so it's easy for me to read and approve comments. No captcha for me. That way I catch any of the spammer types that like to pretend to be commenting and then leave a load of crap links at the end of their comment.

    Does this help at all? I know there are a LOT of people using embedded comments, some of whom let their comments publish immediately, or on approval but without captchas; that takes out one or even two refreshes. I even wondered if it had to do with my Adblock and blocking popup windows but it doesn't seem to. I know others are exasperated, and it's a particular problem when trying to comment while in Blotanical when dealing with these comments. Something to do with code, I'm sure, but definitely not Stuart's fault--software designed by 3rd parties can't always anticipate quirky little things like that, of course.

  10. Do you like starlings? They are really pests here ... bullying the smaller birds.
    A delicious post. Pamela x

  11. Jodi - I will get the irits sorted. I am using Google Chrome, because of Blogger, and GMail, and I like it. Will remove the 'word captcha' tomorrow, and just do comment moderation. Clicked on this post's title, and I have the 'comments' Yes!

    Pam - our starlings are not a problem yet. But I imagine they could become so. The last garden had red-winged starlings on the mountain. But these are just common or garden.


Photographs and Copyright

Photographs are from Diana Studer or Jurg Studer.
My Canon PowerShot A490

If I use your images or information, it will be clearly acknowledged with either a link to the website, or details of the book. If you use my images or words, I expect you to acknowledge them in turn.

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