Here we go at last. A lemon tree in our garden. To all of you with green thumbs, this is hardly news worth shouting about from the rooftops but for me, it is a watershed moment. Most people who know me well will tell you that of all my interests, none of them include gardening. In fact, I like looking at the garden but that’s where it ends. What happens in the garden is like what happens inside my laptop. I don’t want to know. All I know is when I press this button, a nice colourful screen pops up before me.
But I do like lemons. For all sorts of stuff. And have you noticed that whenever you need a lemon, there’s not one in the fruit bowl? Hence, the idea of a lemon tree. Simple isn’t it?
So, on the weekend, we went out to the nearest nursery and got one. We had done some research beforehand of course. As you would have guessed, we discovered lemons aren’t just lemons. There are in fact different varieties! From the ones who like the sun to those that can withstand the cold. Some that fruit all year round whilst others for only some months. Those that grow tall whilst some are short and thorny. Some are zesty, some are sweeter. Whoaa! My head was spinning with all the different considerations. Just too much information. I just wanted a simple lemon tree.
When we arrived at the nursery, all of that research was pretty much tossed out the window whilst we went and look at lemon trees! In fact, it all boiled down to only one thing we were interested in. Our lemon tree had to have some lemons already! I was not going to wait two years! I want my lemons and I want them now. In fact, it would be perfect if they were even ripening! It was a tall order but we finally found them (the ones that actually had lemons on them). On the down side, Aidan took one look and said they all looked “scraggly”. I reckon if they spent all their energy producing lemons, looking scraggly sits just fine with me. So, we picked one that had the best of both worlds. Not too scraggly and lots of lemons. This one had nine!! Yeah, I know what you are thinking. At 80c a lemon at the local grocer, we are already ahead!
As we were walking out, I asked one of the guys working there who looks like he’s planted A LOT of lemon trees in his lifetime. I said is this variety ok for Melbourne? He said OF COURSE, just look at the number of lemons on it! Bingo. We nailed it. And then he went on to describe what we need to do to plant it and then right at the end, he added, make sure you’ve got a spot with plenty of afternoon sun! That stopped me in my tracks. Hmm. Afternoon sun? I haven’t thought much about that at all. I was just going to plonk it down wherever. Too late to turn back now, we had paid for it anyway.
Arriving back home, the afternoon sun issue turned into a quandary. After looking at our backyard in a completely new light, the only place it gets plenty of afternoon sun was right smack bang in the middle of our lawn. The thought of doing that to our lawn with a lemon tree planted in the middle sent us into fits of laughter. What a sight it would be! But at least it got careful consideration. Again, true to the spirit of this new endeavour, we ignored that advice almost completely and planted it where we thought was best for us. Right at the back of our garden, against the fence. As a compromise, it does get some sun there. Not much but some.
So, there you have it. Day one of our lemon tree experiment. Now I just have to wait for them lemons to turn nice and yellow . . . hmm an ice cold lemonade. Yum.
Our beautiful lemon tree with bountiful lemons!