November 17th, 2008

Hey Honey!

bio_lesliedHi All. Leslie in Las Vegas here.

Fall is a wonderful time for gardening in the desert and a greater variety of veggies can be grown now than in the summer.  It’s cooler outside and I am gardening with a vengeance; I am determined to work-off another 10 pounds of fat I gained laying around during the summer heat.  This morning I was able to button and zip my red jeans, and after a few more days planting I should be able to bend over in them – without pain.  When I get tired from planting daffodils I stand up to lube my joints and pick almonds and pistachios and today I found the first ripe Meyer lemon on our tree.

Meyer lemon is the only useable citrus that will grow in Las Vegas, (well, maybe kumquats will grow here, but not oranges). We are fortunate, because I think it is the very best variety of lemon. My Meyer lemon is the last fruit tree to pick and signals that the holidays are just around the corner.  They have a long picking season if we don’t have a hard freeze. Sometimes I don’t have time to pick the whole tree before a freeze warning, so I put those frozen beauties in ziplock baggies and keep them frozen in the freezer. But for space sake, I like to freeze the juice in ice cube trays and store the cubes in ziplock freezer bags.

We also use the rinds as a cup for a desert of gelato or sherbet – with a sprig of mint and a cookie.  I candy strips of the rinds for snacks and also use the juice on my hands after digging in the dirt; it softens them and helps to remove the grime. I bring a little jar of juice to the shower to soften the hard skin on my feet and use as a hair rinse.  I love this tree, it is the most useful tree in my garden.
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“HEY HONEY, I found the saffron crocus bulbs.”  “Where were they?” Bill asked.  “I forgot I planted them and they are blooming now.”  That missing bag of hundreds of bulbs has been driving me crazy, and I have been driving Bill crazy. I was certain that someone snuck into the house and walked right past the diamonds and rubies and stole my saffron crocus bulbs. But, here they are, popping up as a border around a bed that I was prepping and re-planting last week.

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Comments

    I can’t wait to plant a Meyer lemon. Do you think they’ll espalier well? The crocuses are beautiful!

    Hi Tara,
    Yes, you should be able to espalier this tree. You can also hedge it or prune in into a topiary. As a hedge against the wall you might get more lemons than as an espaliered tree because it will have more branches. Keep me posted if you do one of these things.
    I wish I had room to try the Meyer as a hedge.
    Leslie

    Hey Sugar!
    Oh, sorry.
    I love the saffron crocus (Crocus sativus). I always use it and the autumn crocus (Colchicum spp., without leaves!) to illustrate how Latin names may be hard to pronounce, but they make differentiating plants easier than common names. (As both are often called autumn or fall-blooming crocus. Yes, I’m just a joy to have at parties, let me tell you!)
    ~ Monica

    Hey Monica,
    You can come to any of my parties – you will fit in just fine. One of my favorite horticulturists has a nail in his tongue. He has a problem pronouncing the latin names, too.
    Leslie

    Awesome Meyer tree! Mine died on me last winter. It may get just a tad too cold for them here, even with protection. Satsumas have always done great for me though…odd.
    I’m thinking of planting one on the south wall of the house to help with freezing temperatures a bit.

    I have my Meyer lemon planted so it is protected from our NW winter winds. It is tucked into a corner – close to the house with trees to the west and north of it. The one I had planted in the center of the back yard died the first winter. – Leslie

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