Cynthia Canvier


“My fig trees have been with me for about 40 years, and they move from place to place with me. They have names for the type of fig they are. These green figs is a Diana and a Cynthia, Cynthia is a hybrid of the Diana, this one is white genoa. It has a red fruit and these are green fruits.⁠ ⁠ Every year if you want to have figs that year, you have to trim them back to a very minimal size. And that part stays for years and years and years. And only the new growth has figs each year. And if you cut it back, you’ll get lots of figs. And they love growing here in Southern California. Fig trees are native to the oldest parts of the world. They’re wise, old souls.” ⁠

“And you said you’ve had it for, for 40 years?”⁠

“Yes. And they’ve moved round with me while I’ve moved from place to place. For a while I lived in Mexico and I had some friends take care of them while I was down there, and then I reclaimed them when I got back here. So they’ve been in this, location now for probably about 15 years.”⁠ ⁠

“Was there any special way you were introduced to fig trees that made you want to maintain the life of them for so long?” ⁠

“There was another old soul. He was a very interested in fig trees and he had gone to a university in California to find out how to cultivate them. He had carried them around with him for years. He had them on his roof deck in his studio, downtown LA. Every place he went, he would try to plant them and if he left, he would pick them up and take them with him.⁠ ⁠ I married that man, he’s gone now, but I keep the trees going.”⁠


“My name is Cynthia, and one of the trees is named Cynthia because he named it after me. It was the hybrid of Diana. Diana was a Greek goddess and she was born in an Island in the Mediterranean called Cynthus, and so they called her Cynthia. So it’s the same person with two different names. A Greek name and a Roman name. So that’s the names of my trees, and I think that’s appropriate because that’s where they originated. In that place in the world where people originated.”

“Thank you for sharing your story and your wisdom.”

“It’s just life. Life is a process. It’s always changing, like a river going by, or the waves coming in. They’re always the same. They’re always different.”

What time of year do they bloom?”

As soon as it starts warming up, they’ll start sending out their new shoots and growing. Late summer through the fall. But this year we had such warm weather, they were still two figs on the tree when it was time to trim it back! So they’re a little confused with the weather change that we’re experiencing, but we’ll see how it goes. We’ll see if they can adapt, I think they will.”

“I think they will too.”


February 2, 2020