Thursday, July 2, 2009

Notebook on Figs and Lavender

Our garden's crowning glory is this lovely fig tree that is beginning to explode with these delicate jewels.

This garden beauty was planted last spring and we had no clue that it would grow so profusely. I'm talking by leaps and bounds. I understand now that - that is exactly what figs do...grow fast and big and big and fast.

So far we've had two seasons of fruit and I have read that there should be two fruit bearing times per year. YES! Score!

In all honesty, I've never really been one for figs (except those sweet little fig newton cookies) until this season when these little emerald jewels started ripening and drew me to take a little bite.

I've learned that there are several kinds of fig tree and our particular one is a Peter's Honey Fig. I guess it got part of its name because these figs literally taste like honey and they ripen with a fruity like fragrance. Supposedly they're a favorite of chefs for gourmet desserts.

There are Black Mission figs and they have a blackish-purple skin and dark pink flesh. There are Brown Turkey Figs (brownish) that I've read work well in salads. The Calimyrna Figs are a bit larger and have a nutty flavor and the Kadota Figs are less sweeter than all the others.

Fig Inspiration
Author Vicki Archer (My French Life) has inspired me even more so with her love of figs (which are ripening in France right now).

Vicki caught my attention as she described drizzling Lavender honey over her breakfast figs.

I thought . . . well, I have lavender and I have honey so I can make some lavender honey.

How to Make Lavender Honey
So, I poured a little amount of honey in a sauce pan (do not use Mesquite honey - is yucky tasting) and as it began to heat slowly . . . I walked my little o'l self out to one of our garden spots, picked my little o'l self some of my lovely fresh Lavender sprigs . . . .

There is a bit of Swiss Chard still nestled in this Lavender.

I'm actually nuts about Lavender in the garden. If I had my way, I'd have an acre or more of just Lavender. This fragrant plant is a good companion to Eggplant, it repels ticks, and it supposedly when planted around the edges of a garden it helps keep rabbits away.

More importantly to me is the calming sense Lavender's fragrance and beauty provides the feminine soul.
How lovely is this?

After I gathered my fresh Lavender sprigs I headed back to my kitchen. My honey was hot enough to add the Lavender flowers - just slide them off the stalk and toss them into your hot honey.

Leave the Lavender in the honey until your honey cools down, then drain it off.

Slowly drizzle the Lavender honey over your figs.

The fun part - slowly drizzling that sweet Lavender honey over these gifts from heaven and then taking sweet little bites. They are great served with plain yogurt or mascarpone cheese.

How do you use figs? Got some ideas to add? Got grandma's favorite recipe for fig jam?


  1. Haven't had fresh figs in years but I love them!

  2. Two of my favorite things...Thanks for sharing! I'm off to make some lavender soap now that you got me going!

  3. glad I could inspire you....Porch days...oh...I like that you have a fun fig recipe to share with me? :-)

    Thanks for stopping by!

  4. I love lavender, and this looks delicious! Thanks for sharing it with us, and have a wonderful weekend! :-)

  5. I have been wanting a fig tree because they grow so well here and the leaves are wonderful for shade... but I have never eaten one, except for like you... those sweet little fig Newtons! You inspired me to go ahead and get one in the ground! Love the lavender honey! Thanks so much!
    Have a wonderful week end and a fabulous 4th!
    ~Really Rainey~

  6. Yum, yum and YUM! I have a black mission fig tree, and I have never heard of the honey one, but you can bet that I'm going to ask my nursery about it tomorrow! Honey, Figs, and lavender... 3 of my favorite things!
    I'm so glad to have found you through Julia's party!
    xo Isa

  7. Figs, lavender & honey ~ can it get any better? Sounds fabulous and your beautiful photography has definitely tempted me to make these delightful breakfast figs. So glad you stopped by for a visit so that I could discover your wonderful blog!

  8. Very interesting ! I have 3 huge lavender bushes in my front yard. I have always wondered what else besides having them in little flower jars around inside, what I could do with it. Thanks for sharing !

  9. This lavender honey sounds delicious. I'll have to make some and try a little in my morning tea. I would love to grow some figs. What garden zone are you in?

  10. figs and goat cheese make a great spread on toast.

  11. My Husband Chris turned me on to your lovely blog site, WOW! this is wonderful. We are new to Phoenix area (originally from Portland Oregon)We are working on educating ourselves with the flora of this area. Your garden is extremely impressive.We have about a 17,000 sq ft property that we are hot to grow a garden and possibly raise Chickens. So Glad I was able to have a view.


Thanks for visiting my French home and garden. I'm always delighted when my friends leave a comment. xoxo Lylah