Sunday, August 19, 2007

The Lemon Tree

It was planted to fill a space where a kids play house had been removed. The previous owners of our house had built it and their kids had enjoyed many hours of pleasure playing in it – so had their dog. It was rotting by the time we purchased the house and decided it had to go. There was an area underneath the little house, which was also well used by the dog! We found an assortment of ‘stuff’ buried as well as several places which had been ‘rolled in’ constantly. Not sure what to do with it, I purchased a lemon tree. Well it seemed they grow pretty well anywhere, and take pretty harsh treatment, including being ‘watered’ on by humans who, in some areas of the outback, use their lemon trees as the ‘outside loo’ (or so I’ve been told).

So a lemon tree was planted. Can’t even remember the kind it was now but it wasn’t long after, that we decided to move overseas for three years. Our house was placed on the rental market and in moved a family with four kids – and their dog. When we too up residence in our house again after returning ‘downunder’ the lemon tree was still growing – but it had grown rather tall and gangly and seemed to be sulking and not producing anything much in the way of fruit. Not what I’d call a marvellous specimen of the citrus variety! I’ve heard that if you have a tree that isn’t growing well despite all the care you can give, just lean an axe up against the trunk and it will begin to do well out of fright! Well I think I went one better and decided to ‘do the deed’ The hedge clippers came out and I lopped furiously. It seemed to stop it’s sulking within a few weeks and began to produce lovely new leaves. The tree is about 11 years old now and I’ve kept it trimmed across the top. The trunk has grown thick and sturdy and the lemons, although still not the greatest, at least give quite a reasonable amount of juice. I don’t know how long lemon trees live? If anyone knows maybe they could let me have the info. (thanks)!

I was just thinking… when it comes to gardening, my thumb is definitely not even a dull green but if chopping the top off the lemon tree has encouraged it to grow and produce, maybe I could just get the hedge clippers out and lean them up against that tiboucina shrub that seems to be having a sulk!

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