It has been about five years since we began out rural adventure and one of the first things I did was purchase a lemon tree and planted it in orchard area. As the orchard filled with all manner of fruiting tree, my citrus collection also grew. I added grapefruit, lemonade, mandarin, tangelo and a lime.
I have since found out citrus don’t like wet feet! It’s not like I planted them directly into a bog – I put them in the highest point of the orchard, but we do live on what was once a swamp – there is no way around it – it gets wet here from time to time, so needless to say I have one by one killed all the citrus – all but one. The lemon. It seems to have this bizarre will to live, despite its circumstances.
The other day we were in the orchard planting a new tree and Hubby the Un-Gardener wandered over to check on the lemon. Disappointed with its inability to provide him with slices of lemon to poke into his beer bottle on a hot sunny day, he took matters into his own hands – and dug it up. Then he brought it to the garden and said “Sarah the Gardener – try and fix this please.”
It was smaller than it was when we planted it and the root ball that had been dug up with it was bound together with weeds. It had about half a dozen yellowing leaves, lichen was beginning to grow on its branches – but it was still green so there was still hope. I took the hose and blasted away at the roots, and revealed a root system more pathetic than the leaf structure. This tree had not been living in the orchard – it had been existing – clinging on to life – for five years!
I figured with such a will to live, it deserved the only the best of care. So I created the Bucket Infirmary and planted the tree into a bucket rich in all the nutrients that a lemon loves, and watered it in well. Once it begins to show signs of recovery and life, I’ll move it to a more semi-permanent home in a Convalescent Container, where it can stretch its roots and blossom with its new found freedom. Then we will take some time to select the perfect location for a final destination so it can grow into a strong and mighty lemon tree and Hubby the Un-Gardener can sit in the shade of its branches after a hard days digging with a beer with a slice of home grown lemon poked into the bottle.
Well… that’s the plan – so far so good!
Come again soon – spring is in full swing!
Sarah the Gardener : o )
NB: I’ve made a wee film and loaded it onto You Tube so you can see how my garden looks this October! Check it out >here<