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BatiGol Weekly 230: Resurrection Fern

In which we discuss new growth, new hope, and new plants.

Chievo Verona v ACF Fiorentina - Serie A
We gave the world what we saw fit. But what’d we get?
Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images

My wife picked up a ficus lyrata (fiddle leaf fig) a couple of months ago. It’s a cool tree-ish plant, maybe a foot and a half (55 cm) tall, and with some nice-looking green leaves and a pleasing tan stalk. We put it in the corner between the TV and the window on a plinth and have been watching it ever since.

You might think that being inside during the cold, wet months of winter would be a boon for a plant that’s native to lowland rainforests in Western Africa. You’d be ignoring the fact, though, that the fiddle leaf fig is a fickle little fellow who has mighty discerning tastes.

For example, my habit of never running the heat because you can just put on a dang sweater may be coming back to bite me, as ficus lyrata doesn’t like the temperature to drop below 50° F/10° C. It also requires a little bit more sun than it got on that side of the apartment, so I’ve now been displaced from my spot at the dining room table so the plant can sit on my chair and soak up an appropriate amount of rays. It doesn’t just like to be sat, though; it also needs to be rotated occasionally so that all the leaves get sufficient light. You can’t water it too much, but you also have to water it enough, and getting that calculus correct, when taking into account temperature, latitude, the length of the day, the size of the plant, the horoscopic sign, and whether an olinguito has eaten any grubs in the past week, can be tricky. Finally, you need to dust its leaves.

It is perhaps not astonishing, then, that our fiddle leaf fig is not the healthiest fiddle leaf fig that’s ever fiddled. The stalk is ringed by a nameless material that certainly looks like some kind of slightly diseased brown tissue that probably isn’t good news. The leaves are blighted at the ends. It no longer plays lively reels, but instead mournful concerti.

As I researched how to resuscitate this damn plant, though, I discovered that these are all pretty normal behaviors for a fiddle leaf fig in a northern latitude during the winter, and learned that, in short, this ficus is reasonably healthy. The weird rings are signs that it may be preparing to shoot forth another couple of leaves. Despite this being the dreariest part of the winter for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, my apartment is the site of budding vegetal life. It’s rad.

So it goes with sports fandom in general and Fiorentina in particular, especially around this time of year. We’re halfway through the season and the Viola sit in 9th place, more distressingly, they look like they haven’t really improved from last year in terms of tactical cohesion. The plan remains distressingly reliant on everybody running themselves into the ground and hoping that one guy does a cool thing that results in a goal at some point, which is basically the strategy my high school coach employed.

And yet, here we are shooting forth new buds of hope, even in the deadest of months. Just think, after all, about how dangerous this attack will be once Federico Chiesa and Luis Muriel are fully on the same page. And when Hamed Junior Traorè and/or Szymon Żurkowski join Jordan Veretout in midfield next year and add a little bit more positive passing to the midfield. And when Alban Lafont has a full year of Serie A experience under his belt. And when, and when, and when.

Even in the darkness of winter, we sprout.

Latest news

Want to improve the quality of your day? Think back to Fiorentina’s 7-1 destruction of AS Roma in the Coppa Italia. We’ve got all the usual coverage for you to relive the good times.

Valentin Eysseric has returned to France on loan with Nantes, and that’s probably the last we’ll see of him in purple. So long and thanks, Valentin. We wish it had worked out better.

Deadline day was reasonably busy for Corvino and company. Here’s what happened.

The trip to Udinese was about as boring as the visit from Roma was exhilarating, but you can read back on all our coverage of that one too.

Must read

Trying to keep track of all the moves Pantaleo Corvino made in January? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

If you’ve got wisdom for Hesanka as he plans a trip to Florence, hit him up in this fanpost.


How good are you at keeping plants alive?

This poll is closed

  • 6%
    Very. I learned how to commune with them by studying the teachings of Per Krøldrup, whose vegetable-like mobility taught me so much.
    (2 votes)
  • 33%
    Fairly. I can do the Joan Verdú: go with the flow and not upset anything too much.
    (11 votes)
  • 15%
    Not really. Like a late-stage Montolivo, I’m just terminally indifferent to everything else.
    (5 votes)
  • 45%
    Bad. I am Facundo Roncaglia. I do not differentiate between friend and foe. I destroy all in my path. Meat.
    (15 votes)
33 votes total Vote Now

Comment of the week

I’ve got nothing to add to this. Thanks, baelfire.

That’s it for this week, folks.