‘A Fig at the Gate’ takes us with Kate Llewellyn, now in her seventies, as she embraces a new phase in her life, establishing and nourishing an entirely new garden in which she finds not only delight but a focus for a meditation on ageing.
Following the joyful trial-and-error crafting of her gardens in the Blue Mountains and in the north of Wollongong in NSW, Kate buys a house near the sea in Adelaide hoping to reconnect with old friends and family.
In her bare backyard Kate creates what is mainly a food garden, planting olives, plums, limes and blood oranges, learning how to keep poultry, setting a duck on eggs. She finds joy and solace in the fruiting of her trees and in enjoying the harvest of her own garden.
Weather, birds, and learning new skills delight and enrich her. Kate also writes about relishing old friends, making new ones, long companionable beach walks, taking pleasure in old recipes, food and wine, and her three brothers. Wise and joyful, accepting what she cannot change while relishing what she has, Kate shares the beauties and frailties of the human condition and shows us what the gifts of ageing can bring.