Magreits, Sago Palm Pups and Figageddon

What a cornucopia of gardening delights are summed up in this heading. Now we are at the height of Summer I am sure you are running around like headless chickens not knowing which job to tackle next. There are flowers to be deadheaded, weeds to be hoed, grass to be cut and the nightly watering ritual that has turned me into a Spanish version of Kipling’s “Gunga Din” – gardening and empire, I am spoiling you.

29th July. Things I have been doing lately:

🛏 Re-making a bed. A flower bed obviously before you ask. I have a number of island beds within my garden which every couple of years need a make over. The photo below shows the flower bed before its make over.

A rather messy bed that would easily outdo Tracey Emin. In fact I may enter for the Royal Acedemy Summer Exhibition next year

From the photo you can see the flower bed has been left with a profusion of Magreit Daisies that I have deliberately allowed to self seed into the surrounding shingle. The flowers surround a mature Sago Palm and in their first couple of years it looks interesting and very naturalistic. But, as I have left this for at least three years, with just a cut back every year, the Magreits have become woody and will not take another cut back, so it is time to clear up. Also, the Sago Palm is in need of a trim to keep its architectural structure.

The first thing to do is pull up the Magreits sometimes they can be quite tough to get up, but the reward is that underneath will be a number of seedlings which I will replant in this bed in September/October. The first photo below shows the poor old Magreits lying like plague corpses waiting to go in the charnel pit; but wait! there is new life as the second photo shows some seedlings (many more will come out now they can see the light).

Once the Magreits have been cleared it was time to turn my attention to the Sago Palm. These Palms are relatively slow growing and very expensive so you don’t want to mess up the pruning and have it die. The rule here is you can cut back, but you must leave at least two rows of fronds at the top of the trunk. This is your insurance policy, it is possible to lose one row, but to paraphrase the words of Lady Bracknell, “to lose one row may be regarded as a misfortune, to lose both looks like carelessness”. Just snip round with lopers until you have just two rows left and then stop don’t be tempted to go any further. The first photo below shows the underneath of the unpruned Palm, whilst the second shows just how many fronds can come off.

Finally, and this is the bonus. You remember that I told you a few paragraphs ago how expensive Sago Palms are, well this is your surprise. If you are lucky your Sago Palm will have produced some “pups” at the base of their trunk. These are mini Sago Palms that can be harvested and grown as completely new Palms thereby saving you a fortune. I will show you how to do this in a couple of months. In the meantime here is a photo of the pups to get you excited, and finally a photo of the completed bed.

🦇 Beginning to harvest Figs. Yes, it really is Figageddon. Now I like Figs; no I actually love Figs, and if you have netted your trees you should be at the start of harvest. If on the other hand you have not netted your tree as I told you the other month, then all the fat over-Figged birds of the Costa Blanca thank you for the feast.

Figageddon, is not a term of exaggeration as I explained to Cruella (my wife) as I ran into her bedroom at 5am the other morning screaming “Figageddon is upon us”. To say she was underwhelmed would be an exaggeration; she didn’t even come down from the beam where she was hanging and I had to conduct the whole conversation with her hanging upside down and still with her wings wrapped around her. Anyway, I explained to Cruella that Figageddon is a technical term (which I have invented) for a “glut” of Figs that will overwhelm you unless you harvest every day. You need to check your Fig trees every morning. At first you will get 3 or 4 ripe Figs, then 6 or 7 , but it will gradually build up to “FIGAGEDDON’ where dozens will ripen each day. At this point no matter how many you eat, you will still have to give some away to friends, make Fig Jam or dry them like I do. I’ll tell you more about drying later. Meanwhile here is a photo of the start of Figageddon – you have been warned.

I know it doesn’t look much now – but you just wait.

Author: spanishgarden

I live in both Spain and the UK and am a very keen gardener. I garden every day and enjoy sharing all the secrets that God allows us to discover in our gardens.

3 thoughts on “Magreits, Sago Palm Pups and Figageddon”

  1. When I put a ‘few’ fig trees on a vacant parcel a few years ago, it was only to preserve the cultivars that I grew up with in the Santa Clara Valley, with the intention of growing copies of some of them for my own garden. These were not from the orchards, since there were no fig orchards in our particular region, but from backyard trees of a family who grew them from trees on their ancestors’ farm in Sunnyvale. Yes, a farm in Sunnyvale. Anyway, they were copies of copies that were intended to make more copies. After getting them going I got a few more copies from elsewhere. In the end, I realized that there are now 14 small fig trees on this one parcel! It seemed that at a former home, just one fig tree was excessive. I can handle two or three if contained, but 14?!?!?

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    1. I would love to have all those Fig trees. I currently have 5 healthy cuttings from one of my existing trees and all are growing well. I may try and plant some of them or else give them as presents to friends.

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      1. Oh, you don’t want that many! If allowed to grow into trees, they would be way too much work. I will likely grow only those that I grew up with, and leave the others out there to fend for themselves.

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