Crying Over Lemons
Another personally significant moment this week was when I picked my first home grown lemon from my tree which I got for Christmas. This is definitely something I would not have done back in the UK and it brought tears to my eyes. No, not from squirting juice in them, but for the fact that I am able to grow my own lemons for my early morning hot lemon drink.
As a kid we had a couple of apple trees in the garden which have left many nostalgic memories. All those late summer days of inching precariously along the branches to reach the biggest juiciest ones whilst parents hovered down below with pillow cases and vegetable colanders to catch them. Never mind about catching us, we would have needed a duvet cover to catch us, but as we still used sheets and blankets in those days, we had to trust our balance. Our parents obviously thought it was worth the risk to get at those apples before the birds did!
I can vividly remember too all those little apples that dropped off well before they were fully grown. As kids we made up endless games to play with them. One of them was to hit them with a tennis racket against the wall of the house that backed onto our garden. We thought it was great fun but the owner of the house wasn't so impressed when the newly painted pebble dash was given a polka dot look with all the little brown marks the splattered apples made. It did wonders for improving our tennis serves though!
Then of course there was the excitement of finding the worms burrowed down those little brown canals as we ate them and all those times we spending peeling and chopping them for the sunday apple pie and the numerous little freezer bags we loaded up to ensure we were never without apple pie in the winter. We gave away bags to the neighbours, bags to the church, and bags to the scouts. There was intense pressure with my brothers over who could produce the longest piece of peel and who could manage to peel the whole apple without a break in the skin.
Yes there was never a dull moment when the apples arrived but sadly they have now succumbed to a garden makeover and as in many other gardens around the country I imagine, they have been replaced with water features and large shiny blue balls that serve no purpose other than to sit on the earth amongst the rockeries looking extremely alien.
One day I hope I will have another apple tree, and oranges and maybe peaches too, as they are all possible to grow here in NZ. But for now, I am extremely satisfied with my little lemon tree and its small but much appreciated bearing of fruits. But they're no good in pies!