Monday, July 7, 2008
When Life Doesn't Give You Lemons
This is my lovely little Meyer Lemon tree. Some day, it will bear me fruit.
After seeing rows upon rows of lemon trees in the flower markets in Paris, I needed to have one. The dark green foliage acts as a canvas for the bright yellow fruits. If you rub a lemon leaf between your fingers it leaves behind the most sunny, clean scent. They also make great templates for making chocolate leaves.
Dave bought me one for Christmas, and I've faithfully watered it twice a week. The little tree survived the winter inside my Chicago apartment. It flowered minimally on two separate occasions, each time producing only three or four buds. I took a tip from a gardening website and attempted to cross-pollinate the buds using a cotton swab, which prompted many jokes about my having sexual relations with trees. Mock me if you must, but I really want lemons. When your tree gives you lemons, you make lemonade. And lemon meringue pie, and salad dressing, and herbal teas, and cleansers for the kitchen sink. Despite my efforts to speed up nature, no fruit grew.
Enter the month of June, and more moderate temperatures. It's not surprising that my little tree has recently begun to thrive. It's been living outside since the threat of night time frosts passed. I've tricked this plant into believing we're in Florida, with plenty of sunshine and lots of heat. It's flowering out of control. The pretty pink and creamy white buds are too numerous to count, and more pop up every day.
This afternoon I spotted a bee doing it's thing amongst the flowers. Nature's taking its course, so I'll leave the cotton swabs in the medicine cabinet for now. Yes indeed, this tree will give me Meyer lemons some day, and then I'll have my lemonade.