May 25, 2020

Coming in from the Cold

Ficus carica 'Chicago Hardy' - fig

Janine Pineo Photo | Ficus carica 'Chicago Hardy' - fig

There are things you see in Maine and then things you don’t see. You generally won’t run across Ficus carica while wandering about, although there was one tucked into the Cozy Acres Greenhouses display at the 2012 Bangor’s Garden Show. The edible fig variety was ‘Chicago Hardy,’ which just might lead one to believe it could be hardy in a climate such as found in Chicago. Turns out that ‘Chicago Hardy’ is hardy to Zone 6, of which there are pockets along the coast in Maine. It seems that at those temperatures, the fig dies back to the ground, much like other herbaceous perennials, only to sprout again in the spring and be good enough to bear fruit — figs, for heaven sake — right here in Maine. One has to ponder the possibility of helping it winter over in colder areas, maybe a south-facing wall and some cozy wrapping or even inviting it inside for the winter.