Lemon Trees Very Pretty

honey bee on lemon blossom

Lemon tree, very pretty, and the lemon flower is sweet

When we moved into our house eight years ago, I wanted to have two lemon trees growing near the house so they would be less likely to suffer during a winter freeze and so we could step out the kitchen door and pick a lemon whenever we wanted one.

lemon trees flanking the garden plot

I cleared the ground for a garden and dug out the redwood roots on the south-facing side of the house, a little plot I could see from my office windows, and I planted a lemon tree at each end of the plot. I watered the lemon trees and fed them and they grew into nice little bushes, but the years passed and they rarely made a blossom, and only once did one of the trees make a single desiccated little lemon.

lots of blossoms

I would visit people who had lemon trees in small wooden tubs on their decks, the little trees covered with blossoms and lemons; and I would visit people with yards untroubled by redwood roots where giant lemon trees grew in the ground and made hundreds of lemons each year.

lemon clusters

I knew my trees were battling the redwood roots, yet stubbornly, year after year I clung to the unfounded belief that the lemon tree roots would eventually manage to descend below the redwood-root tangle and spread far and wide and empower the lemon trees to become mighty makers of big juicy yellow lemons.

neighboring lemon trees in tubs

After seven years of continuously battling the redwood roots, I finally accepted that my vegetables would not grow in the ground unless every few months I labored mightily to dig out many wheelbarrow loads of roots. And so in my seventieth year I became a tub gardener. And once I experienced the ease of growing vegetables in tubs free of redwood roots, I transferred my lemon trees out of the ground into two big tubs.

intermingling branches

As I dug up the lemon trees to transplant them, I was astonished to find that their root masses had barely grown in seven years, the little trees somehow surviving with their tiny root masses encased in massive knots of densely woven redwood roots.

Not quite two years later, the lemon trees in the tubs are healthy, fast growing, and covered with lemons and blossoms. We have yet to pick a mature lemon, but the day is coming soon.

nearly yellow

I am examining my life in light of my experience with the lemon trees.


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