There was a time in my life when I knew, just knew, that if and when I had a lemon tree, I would be happier than happy. As a gardener, I would have arrived. Because I am a curious gardener, I have grown, or tried to grow, a vast range of plants from ‘A’ (alstroemeria) to ‘Z’ (zephyranthes), with results varying from fabulous to ‘oh, well’. But a lemon tree – that was the supreme goal. Of course lemon trees can be expensive, so I waited and waited until I could finally find a lemon tree locally, from a reliable source, and that I could almost afford.
We brought the lemon tree home, and then I did a massive amount of research, and, yes, only then. We potted the tree up. I visited it daily, observing, learning. Its first year it produced a few lemons; my husband didn’t like the taste. Rats. Last year it produced even more lemons. During the past two winters, we have rolled it in its pot and on a caster thingy into our garden room to protect it from very low and freezing temps. The first year I even pruned it to make it more balanced, and it responded well, a huge gamble on my part. This last winter it somehow really liked how we placed it in the unheated garden room, and bloomed all winter, even without bees to pollinate; have no idea how. Because we had an erratic winter, it was rolled out, back in, and out again from the garden room; because it is thorny, my husband and son were less than thrilled with the efforts.
Now it is back in its place on the patio, simply covered with tiny lemons and blooms that perfume the whole backyard garden. It has produced small crops, great fragrance and beauty, frustration on the part of those who move it around, and great delight for the bees, which makes us feel better about the whole experience.
Did the lemon tree completely fulfill my gardening dreams and make me a supreme gardener? Of course not. Is the lemon tree wonderful? Of course it is.