March 23, 2015

Goodbye Tangerines, Hello Lemons

tangerine 2

Who can resist the delicate beauty and sweet, delicious scent of a citrus tree in bloom?

tangerine tree

As I mentioned in a recent post, my parents added a Tangerine tree (Citrus reticulata) to their Florida landscape this year.

tangerine 1

After spending several weeks with the folks, enjoying the warm Florida sun and the sweet scent of Tangerine blooms, it was somewhat difficult to come back to Wisconsin in March.

tangerine 3

The Tangerine tree was covered in blooms.

tangerine 4

By the time I left, little Tangerine fruits were starting to form.

lemon tree

But look what was waiting when I got back home.

Hard to see from this angle?

lemon buds 3

New buds on the Lemon tree (Citrus x meyeri)!

lemon buds 2

Not just buds, but new growth, too.

lemon buds 1

By the time you read this, some of these buds might be blooming.

lemons 2

Plus, we have ripe Lemons!

lemons 1

And more waiting in the wings for the coming weeks.

snow & daffodil

So, while I had to face a late Midwestern snowfall that covered the Daffodils ...

snowdrops

I made it back in time to see the Snowdrops (Galanthus nivalis) blooming.

sliced

The fishman and I harvested our first Meyer Lemon.

beer

And we celebrated with refreshing, Lemon-flavored, Wisconsin craft beers. It's great to be home. Cheers!

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62 comments:

  1. Meyer lemon is so special producing tasty fruit when everything else is dormant. I picked the last of mine today because it has new blooms. With all those buds you are bound to have enough for lemon curd next year. That's a lot of snow but since I used to travel to Green Bay for work and remember snow well into April it's not a big surprise.

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    1. Oh, you're familiar with Green Bay?! I grew up very near there. Unfortunately, you're right--snow is common in the Green Bay area well into April. Not quite as common here in Madison, although it happens. I was thrilled to have six lemons this first year. I hope we'll have many more next year.

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  2. Hi Beth,
    How awesome to have a lemon tree, and to have it produce in the house! I don't think I could pull that off. I enjoyed the photos of your parents' tangerine tree. I like the look of the leaves.

    I hope your snow melts soon, and spring comes in to stay. Thanks for stopping by my last post. I am pleased that my Virginia bluebells are coming up now.

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    1. Hi Sue: Yes, it's quite fun. We've had a few setbacks, so I was thrilled to see some new growth and many new buds! Actually, this lemon tree seems to perform much better in the house during the winter than outside during the summer. But it gets much more sun when our huge deciduous trees are leafless--shows the power of the sun in winter! The blooms of the Tangerine and the Lemon have such amazing, sweet scents. I'm sure you could pull it off! It just takes a little extra care, lots of sun, and patience. Not so different from other sun-loving plants and trees. :)

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  3. Glad you made it home safe and sound and found such a nice surprise waiting for you! Looks like you'll have more lemons next season!

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    1. Thanks! Yes, I was thrilled to see all that new growth on the lemon tree. Before I left there was evidence of new buds, but they were swelling and ready to burst by the time I got back. Plus, the lemons! Yum.

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  4. Oh how I love the smell of citrus blossoms! I'll bet it smells really good at your house right now!

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    1. Me, too, Kylee! The buds are just about to bloom. When they start, it will smell heavenly! I definitely recommend growing a citrus tree in the house if you have a room with enough sunlight!

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  5. Look so lovely! So fresh! I like to grow citrus family, cause they can produce fruits all year round.

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    1. Yes, I hope we'll have year-round fruit from now on. My tree, surprisingly, prefers the indoors to the outdoors. So, I think I'll keep it in--with air circulation through the screens--this summer. It will be an interesting experiment.

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  6. There isn't much to beat the scent of citrus blooms. Welcome home.

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    1. Thanks! Yes, it's a pungent, addictive scent, that is for sure!

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  7. Welcome Home to you! I echo the sentiments of the rusty duck....there is nothing like the scent of citrus blooms! Wonderful that you have lemons to share with others too. Thank you for hosting the Lessons Learned meme. I'll have to go and check it out now. May you be well and happy.

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    1. Thanks, Susie! I know you have much experience with citrus. Thanks for your encouragement during the past several months. This tree has had some challenges, so I'm very happy to see it thriving again. And thanks for participating in the Lessons Learned meme!

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  8. What a nice welcome home gift. All of your photos are gorgeous, but the last one of the lemon--wow! I'm drooling. My dad has Meyers at his home that I pick off in November/December. There's no better lemon. Enjoy!

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    1. Thanks! I know--the photos and the real thing literally make me drool, too. I can taste it in my imagination. Meyer Lemons seem a little sweeter. My husband even eats them plain. Still a little sour for me, but definitely tasty in beer and lemonade. Lucky you to have access to lemons at your dad's place. :)

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  9. Hmm...those south facing windows in our dining room suddenly seem to be crying out for citrus.

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    1. I say go for it, Ricki. If we can grow them in Wisconsin, you can grow them in Oregon. It sure is rewarding to harvest one's own organic citrus!

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  10. Welcome home!
    We have one lime - still hanging on - hope it survies the building chaos.
    The lemon tree just keeps on with flowers, and fruit.

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    1. Thanks, Diana. Ah, I hope the lime survives for you. And I hope your construction projects are going well. Enjoy your lemons!

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  11. Oh that is wonderful to see Beth...I love the smell of citrus blooms and fruit and oh I miss being able to grow it. I am able to eat some fresh grapefruit when I go to visit my sister in AZ for Thanksgiving.

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    1. If you have a south-facing window, you can grow them indoors, Donna. Our tree is actually "happier" indoors during the winter than it is outdoors during the summer, for various reasons. Nothing like fresh citrus. The shipped-in fruits just can't compare.

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  12. Replies
    1. Yep, I'm amazed at how well it's performed in our sunroom. It struggled quite a bit when we moved it outside during the summer (believe it or not), but it bounced right back this winter. I'm going to experiment with keeping it inside year-round.

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  13. What a fine welcome home, though the cold must have been a shock. Maybe one day I will find space for a lemon tree, the thought of being able to pick my own is very attractive!

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    1. Hi Janet: Yes, the cold is not fun. My first days back were mild, so that was nice ... but then we had a snowstorm followed by a cold snap. The forecast for next week looks springy, though, so that's good. I'm sure you would have much luck with citrus along the coast of Wales -- especially if you go with a potted tree that you could roll in on colder nights. It is, indeed, fun to grow and harvest our own lemons!

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  14. Really nice photos - I can almost smell the citrus blooms. It must be amazing to have lemons growing in the house and garden.

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    1. Thank you, Tim. The Tangerines are growing outside at Mom and Dad's in Florida. The Lemons are growing in my northern Midwestern sunroom. Yes, both are much appreciated! :) The blooms have a very similar scent. While the fruits, of course, taste very different, the scents of the blooms are indistinguishable (for me, at least). So very pleasant!

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  15. Oh, well, you've touched one of my weakness: the citrus family, I am looking forward to the orange blossom season, in the the city of Seville (south of Spain) many streets are profiled with bitter orange trees (perfect for jam making) and when you start perceiving the almost intoxicating scent, then you know for sure that spring is around. Amazing similarities between Florida and Spain! I would like to try your refreshment, enjoy and welcome home!

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    1. Oh, that would be a wonderful time to visit Spain! I can only imagine! So it sounds like late March to early April is a good bet for catching the orange blossoms? Yes, I imagine Florida and southern Spain have much in common--similar climates, similar plants, and citrus! :)

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  16. You've had the best of both worlds, and made lemonaid out of your lemons...lol.

    Unending spring would be such a delight for us gardener's. But that snow is definitely a shock.

    Jen

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    1. Yes, I carefully planned the time that I would be away from the end of winter. I could have stayed away longer, but then I would have missed the first Snowdrops and many other first signs of spring. Snow is not an uncommon occurrence in March in Wisconsin. Usually it melts pretty fast. I'm not sure I'd want unending spring, but a shorter winter every year would be nice. ;-)

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  17. Congratulations on the lemons! I remember when I used to visit my daughter in Arizona, there were lemon trees just behind her apartment complex where I would go for a walk. What a heavenly scent! Sorry about your snow; that wasn't a very nice welcome home:)

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    1. Thanks, Rose! They were starting to ripen when I left, and two were just ready for harvesting when I got back. Yay! Plus, there were so many blooms and much new growth, which was a wonderful surprise. A grove of citrus in bloom--yum! Sometime, I hope to experience that. Re: the snow -- not fun, but not unusual. Spring is slowly winning the battle. ;-)

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  18. Thank you for sharing your lemon. I am so thrilled you have done so well with the citrus trees.
    I also like how you celebrated.
    ;-)
    Carla
    P.S. I will be spending time with family and friends for a few days. Have a great week and Happy Easter.
    Carla

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    1. Hi Carla: My pleasure. ;-) Nothing like a fresh lemon in a top-quality, Wisconsin craft beer. I hope you have a wonderful visit with family and friends. Happy Easter!

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  19. I had the opportunity to smell the smell of flowers and citrus trees will have nothing to regret. I eat only fruits that do not grow with us. Regards.

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    1. The flowers smell so different than the fruits, but every bit as fresh! When perfumes mention "citrus" scents, I wonder now if they mean the fruits or the flowers. Both are fabulous!

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  20. Welcome back! Sorry you missed the unusual thaw the first half of the month, but glad you made it back in time to see the snowdrops. Shouldn't be long before all those spring bulbs are in bloom. ☺

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    1. Thanks, Heather. Yes, I missed the first big thaw, although it was quite mild (60s) my first few days back. Now cold. :( But it sounds like we're in for a pleasant warm-up next week. Yay.

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  21. Whoops... Lost my comment.... How nice to come home to blooms and to have your own lemons... Very uplifting..... Michelle

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    1. Yes, it was great. The lemon buds, new growth, and ripe fruits made me very happy. :)

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  22. Dear Beth, I can imagine that it was hard to come back from Florida into the winterly cold of Wisconsin. But there is no place like home, right? And you had truly a warm welcome from your lemon tree :-). I think Meyer Lemons are the best. I can grow them here easily climate wise, but don't have a single citrus tree in my yard, which is a shame. Maybe your post has inspired me to change that.
    Warm regards,
    Christina

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    1. Hi Christina: Actually, the day I got back the weather was rather mild (60sF), but it has gone down steadily since then. I believe this will be the coldest day of this reversion (32F for a high). Next week looks better. And, as you say, there's no place like home. I guess I'd truly rather live in this part of the world (not any further north, though)--except for February and early March. I can now say that home-grown Meyer Lemons are the best-tasting lemons in the world. ;-) Yes, I do believe you would enjoy having a citrus tree (or two or three) in your beautiful garden!

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  23. I never heard of lemon beer. Not fond of beer, but do love lemonade.Must be great picking your lemons. The price of them makes growing them a great idea.

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    1. Hi Donna: The beer is a basic creamy ale. We added the juice from our fresh lemons, which put the taste over the top. ;-) Yes, harvesting our own organic, fresh, homegrown lemons is fabulous. Until the tree is more mature with more fruit, it will be a special treat reserved for special occasions!

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  24. Congratulations on your lemon harvest! May you have many more! When we were in Turkey there were mandarin orange trees everywhere, but we were to early to see or smell them in bloom.

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    1. Thanks, Jason! We appreciate the blessing. ;-) Now I'm starting to crave fresh lemon (must be my sun-deprived condition after leaving Florida). Mandarin Orange trees everywhere! Just imagine the beauty and scent when they're in bloom! Sounds like Spain as Lula describes it!

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  25. Four parted snowdrop flowers? That's pretty strange.

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    1. Ah, yes, I guess so. Carolyn at Carolyn's Shade Gardens mentioned this can happen sometimes. I believe these are Galanthus nivalis ... not sure of the cultivar because the squirrels dug up the tag.

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  26. You must have the perfect combination of soil and light for your lemon tree to be so productive. How wonderful to harvest your own lemons in Wisconsin! We are a bit too far north to grow tropicals in our garden, but I can never forget the fabulous fragrance of the citrus house at a local botanical garden.Your parents are very fortunate!

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    1. The light and soil are good, and also I think the draining pot makes a difference. The tree never gets too waterlogged. Yes, Floridians are fortunate to be able to grow citrus trees in their outdoor gardens. The flowers on my tree are blooming now, and it smells wonderful!

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  27. Just so you know . . , I am cheering for Wisconsintoo. Oh my, what ever will I do if they end up playing against one another again!
    Love your flowering plants/Lemon tree. I may have to try a Michigan Lemon tree! I think I am up for the challenge . . .

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    1. Oh, gosh. It's looking like it could happen. Wouldn't that be wild to have a Michigan State vs. Wisconsin championship match-up?! On an easier topic: Yes, I do believe you would enjoy growing a Meyer Lemon tree. :)

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  28. how interesting, Beth. I've never heard of a lemon tree grown indoors. But the position clearly suits it. I find lemon trees often attract nasty bugs, so maybe one of the advantages of growing it indoors is to protect it. Myer lemons with their thin skins are my favourite for juice. It must be good to be home - enjoy the spring weather.

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    1. Hi Sue: I never thought to try to grow one indoors until a friend told me about it. She grows several of them: moves them outside during the summer and indoors during the winter. Mine seemed to struggle outside last summer, because of debris and lack of sun in my shady garden. I'm going to try to grow it indoors this summer--thinking it might get a little more sun (and much less debris) in the sunroom. Yes, it is great to be home! A little colder, but otherwise wonderful.

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  29. Congratulations on your harvest and the new blooms, your lemon tree looks fantastic Beth!
    I have actually read up about lemon trees lately as 2 weeks ago I got my first lemon tree too!! I contacted a specialist citrus nursery here in UK to get advice what to buy, and having read about lots of people growing Meyers over in US I thought perhaps I could have one too – but I was advised Meyers do not like our wet winters and are only for conservatories over here. They are fine with the mild winters we have but outdoors they will get too much water in a period they are supposed to be watered sparingly. Instead I was advised to by a ‘Lisbon’ so that’s what I did, it arrived 10 days ago and I can’t wait for my first harvest. It is quite small still and will grow quite quickly, but can be pruned as much as you like. According to the nursery you could just about chop it in half. Fully hardy outdoors here in London and perfect for a small garden grown in a container permanently. I can see an addiction coming…. :-)

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    1. Thanks, Helene! Yes, that's exciting. Interesting that the Meyers don't do as well in the U.K. I guess that makes sense: I only water mine one or two times a week, although I mist it frequently during the winter. I guess the soil is supposed to dry out in between waterings. I also have a fast-draining pot for it, with a hole in the bottom. It's on a tray to capture the draining water. Anyway, wow--I'll look forward to your posts about the 'Lisbon'! Yes, I must admit I'm a bit addicted now to citrus gardening. ;-) Our tree is just blooming now, and the scent is ... incredible!

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  30. That is so exciting & I bet your house smelled incredible too! Every time I go into a greenhouse in the winter there seems to be citrus of some kind in bloom and it smells heavenly. Your lemon looks luscious. The best welcome home!

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    1. Hi Kathleen: The lemons were soooo tasty. We only have three left from last year's crop, and I'm salivating thinking about it. The blooms are just bursting now, and yest they smell wonderful! Just in time for Easter. :)

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  31. Replies
    1. Nothing like a refreshing, high-quality beer with a spritz of fresh lemon juice!

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