Garden: Ivy and Figs

Ivy of the YearThis is Ivy and there is an Ivy society for the preservation of IVY (

Frank Lloyd Wright used to tell young architects if their structure wasn’t so great they should plant Ivy on it.  In this author’s experience it is next to impossible to get rid of Ivy that has take root. My mother planted it on the chain link fence between out house and the neighbors. She did it because she didn’t like looking at their yard. Maybe it wasn’t their yard as much as the mess in their yard.

My second neighbor Pat, was from Mississippi. She wanted to plant Ivy on her side of the fence. I told her I wished she wouldn’t. She said she’d keep it trimmed. Well keeping Ivy trimmed is like trying to herd cats. When Pat and her husband, a military man, moved — the ivy stayed. Each neighbor since, and there have been about four now, has complained about my ivy.

In that space next to the fence, on the S-W side of the yard, is where I planted two Fig sticks years ago pre-ivy.  Since we were in a drought at the time — like now, they remained sticks for a very long time. One tree got leaves — no fruit. The other tree remained a stick for many years still. I was very tempted to take it out. I read that fig trees are very much their own creature. If they like it where they are they will flourish and if they don’t you have to have great patience.

One Spring after a rainy winter my little fig stick sprouted one leaf, and then another. It was on it’s way. Now they fill the side yard with thin gray branches and beautiful blue-green foliage. The fruit in August is more than I can keep up with. I will go out in the morning and pick a bowl of figs for breakfast.Garden figs 022 All the branches are so heavy I feel I need to put supports under them. The figs from the first tree that did well originally are 3″ across and heavy. The figs on the former stick fig are about 1-1 1/2″ and the leaves are smaller. She is like the smaller, frail younger sister.  I’ve decided it is the IVY. The ivy is rich and lush and taking over under the trees. It is also most likely sucking all the nutrients from the soil.

The ivy is also what is probably holding up the old fence — heck it probably is the fence. The ivy grows on and clings to the wood like a baby does to it’s mother’s legs when he is learning to walk. Ivy, dear ivy, you are pretty, but you are going to be getting a serious haircut — and soon


6 thoughts on “Garden: Ivy and Figs”

  1. Have you read “loving Frank” ? It’s about the woman he, Frank Lloyd Wright left his wife and family for. Good read. Surprise ending, though.

  2. I like the various ivies we have, though I have an obvious, easily definable relationship with them. Pull, pull, pull. Always pulling. Like you say, it never goes away. Thanks. Great post.

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