WHO GIVES A FIG? I DO!
I love Sydney; for the harbour, the museums and theatres, but particularly for it’s amazing old fig trees.
Could there be a more iconic image of the city than in the photo below? Sydney sandstone and fig roots inextricably entwined. That section of wall will certainly never collapse.
Those ‘strangler’ roots can spell death to other, hapless plants. The bamboo in the photo below is not in a good situation!
There are Moreton Bay figs from Queensland, and the local Port Jackson figs. The birds don’t really have a favourite and nor do I.
Feeding cockatoos make such a mess as they rip branchlets off to eat the fruits. Look what one has done near the Corso at Manly. Surely a littering fine is in order.
My associate Editor Des makes a trip to the Sydney Botanical Gardens each year to picnic on ripe fruit….well the ones the birds and fruit bats don’t gobble up.
The bats are discouraged from roosting in the trees at the Gardens, but it’s hard to move them on. Sometimes the staff resort to playing loud music and banging rubbish tin lids together.
You can see some lovely specimens of fig on the harbour-side walk from Mosman Bay to Cremorne Point;
This may be my favourite fig tree, and one of the oldest. It’s growing in Camperdown cemetery. I came upon it when researching the story of Australia’s Miss Havisham. Isn’t it a thing of wonder?
Those buttressed roots cannot be contained. Here is the result of placing a fence in the path of fig tree;
In the lead-up to the 2000 Olympics at Homebush Bay, a huge number of mature figs were transported to Sydney from Queensland and the New South Wales border. It was quite a sight to see them being taken by barge up the Parramatta River to Olympic Park. They continue to provide much needed shade at sporting events and the Royal Easter Show, which moved to Homebush from its original home at inner-city Randwick.
Fig trees can look a bit, well….creepy when the aerial roots start to grow. This one is down at Balmoral Beach in Mosman.
When Sydney hold its wonderful Vivid Festival each winter the trees become part of the show. The photos below were taken in the Botanic Gardens.
Did you know that figs are among the easiest trees to bonsai?
I must say mine looks pathetic in comparison, but it might improve with time….and if I could work out how to make the leaves smaller. My moss is OK though, because I live in Bleakheath (sorry, Blackheath), where it rains a lot.
I think these trees are fantastic, in the true sense of the word.
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