Last week darling daughter arrived for Christmas with an unexpected treasure–lemons from her recent road trip to Southern California! It was timely in that for the very first time my Meyer lemon tree was also producing fresh lemons, fortunately a bit behind maturity from the ones she gifted me with from SoCal!
Safely still on their host branches and not fully ripened they can now rest easy in their process without my hovering, and I can rest assured they are chilled to perfection!
There are nine and I have been poking at them and counting them repeatedly all summer and fall long, trust me. When the cold snap arrived I was certain I would lose them all, thinking that for some strange reason they had not come to fruition on time. I was surprised and delighted to hear my friend Justine, down in Marin Co., who’s had a lemon tree for years and years and has been generously supplying all her friends with lemons for decades, assured me that her lemons were just now ripening as well, so clearly I have a lot to learn about citrus in general. It’s very hard for me to imagine that they are ripening even as the outer mountains are snow covered and frost abounds. But there you have it! Lemons! And I am thrilled!
I planted this tree nearly five years ago, in a big plastic pot, hoping for the best. Year after year I’ve hoped and been crestfallen. Rekindling my patience and optimism, I’ve searched each spring, and this was the year I was blessed with fruit! Yay, little tree! You did it!
Neighbors do tell stories of their lemon trees which succombed to frost, so this one sits near a gnarly old plum tree, somewhat protected. And I have been known to stew and put a blanket of leaves about its base to protect its root system. It’s worked so far!
And not to be outdone, strangely the orange tree, also in a pot, planted around the same time, has produced two huge oranges, ripening even as I write. I can’t wait to see how they emerge as fully mature oranges, gracing a breakfast table! And undoubtedly the zest will find its way into weekly scones!
The Meyer lemon, common in California, was brought to America from China. The original one harbored a virus which destroyed crops of lemons so they themselves were destroyed. Fortunately a scientist created an Improved Meyer Lemon which is virus free. They are frequently grown as ornamentals, but not here in this garden! They are treasured as a lovely organic fresh healthy food source and a wonderful welcome addition to my kitchen! Salutations to the lemon tree!
Love and gardening blessings,
Book News: Readers of Science of Mind might want to read my article “Plant Your Joy” in the January 2011 issue!
Posted on December 27th, 2010 by Kathryn
Filed under: Plants