I’ve become slightly obsessed with a Dwarf Meyer Lemon tree. The tree came into my possession when my wonderful friends from home bestowed the tree upon me as a birthday gift back in September. Little did they know I’d become completely mesmerized by everything about it (or perhaps they did and thus why they gave it to me). It was an incredibly thoughtful gift. Not only does it make the room feel brighter, filling it with an aromatic citrus aroma, but the Meyer Lemon lends itself beautifully to baking.
The plant first arrived at my doorstep in a large, upside-down, cardboard box, which had been shipped across the county. I opened the box to find the plant looking haggard and weak (as anyone might be after a long flight upside-down in a dark box). Leaves were shriveling and beginning to fall off, and there was certainly no sign of lemon growth. Had it not been for the label, for all I knew about plants, it could have been a dying begonia I’ve never been a gardener nor had much experience with plants and was sure I’d killed her before I’d even started. But, extemporaneously determining the gender of this small tree and suddenly feeling responsible for the life that had been placed in my care, I was determined to turn its health around.
The basis of my plant knowledge revolves around knowing that one should talk to their plants. I’m not sure when or where I first learned this, but it is, by far, my favorite detail about floriculture. Also, classical music helps plants grow. (This fact, I do remember where I learned and it was from an 8th grade science fair project…although, my Meyer Lemon seems to have taken well to Simon & Garfunkel.)
Anyway, this is the foundation of my gardening knowledge. Also, of course, a plant’s need for sunlight and water. So, I’ve been rotating Miss Meyer Lemon around my room to various windowsills, ensuring she gets optimum sunlight, and also moving her far from the windows at night, so she isn’t affected by the cold.
My techniques are appearing to work because Miss Meyer Lemon soon recuperated from her rough travels and buds began to appear! The buds blossomed, fell and have left behind small, green, oval growths, getting larger by the day.
Although, full, ripe lemons may be a long way off, I’ve already made delicious plans for them (perhaps this is why they are so eager to grow). Thanks to Chef David Lebovitz’s elegant book, “Room for Dessert,” Miss Meyer Lemon has a recipe for a Meyer Lemon Semifreddo waiting for her arrival. I can’t imagine a more perfect application for my homegrown lemons than a recipe from Chef Lebovitz’s book, where a dessert’s beauty comes from the featuring of fresh ingredients being served in a straightforward and gracefully simple way.
Miss Meyer Lemon and I see many jars Meyer Lemon curd in our future…