A Fig at the Gate 

Reviewed By  Janet Mawdesley       October 3, 2014


Author  Kate Llewellyn

Distributor:       Booktopia/Amazon 
ISBN:                 978-1-76011-088-8
Publisher:         Allen & Unwin
Release Date:    

Website:    http://www.allenandunwin.com 

In this wonderfully warm memoir you feel as though you and your friend Kate are sitting chatting, discussing the finer things of life such as the garden, life in general and pro’s and con’s of growing older.

Using the medium of her much loved garden she offers to all the wisdom of the years and her undisputed love and joy of gardening : in particular taking a baron plot of land and sculpting into a thing of joy,

Underpinning the love of establishing the garden is the genuine and long held belief that there should be more to a garden than sheer beauty; it needs to have a dual fold purpose to feed and nurture the soul and the body: attract the bird life and encompass and give back to the environment.

Kate’s desire to adventure into having chickens in the garden to add to the general scheme of things is one filled with enjoyment, laughter and sorrow as she attempts to learn all she never knew she needed to know to bring up chickens successfully.

 Not stopping at chickens she then decides to add ducks to her list of backyard dwellers surprising herself with the maternal feelings she had towards her broody duck and the ducklings which eventually hatched.

Each step of the garden establishment is shared with joy, the occasional side trip into her friends and families lives as they help and encourage each other along the pathways to sharing and learning from each other in regard to plants, planting and raising chickens and ducks.

Dotted amongst the pages and chapters are some of Kate’s beautiful pieces of poetry, offered like special gifts from the garden, encapsulating so much in so few words.

Her warmth and wisdom wrap about you and offer some of the answers to life’s many questions such as, ‘washing the roots of citrus, particularly lemons trees clean before you transplant them and they will grow well’, coupled with when feeling down go seek medical advice and sort out the problems.

We perhaps learn more about autopsies on chickens than some may desire to know but in the overall scheme of things, maybe it is something you have always wanted to know but have been too scarred to discover!

Such is the nature of this wonderfully joyful look at accepting what you can’t change, like growing older, making the absolute most of what you have and creating beauty along the way in the form of a wonderful, productive garden.