Tag Archives: lemon tree

We prune and purge.

I had a wonderful day, though it was very odd at the beginning. Instead of my usual slow and contemplative morning pace, I had to go downstairs early to phone my auto insurance company as soon as their business hours began, in hopes of asking a simple question of A Real Person, as we say. I had begun to wonder, over the previous several days, if there were any of those on duty. It worked, and I made progress; but I’ll have to do the same thing on Monday.

The contemplative part of the day got postponed and shortened a bit, but it was rich and thought-provoking, as usual. I can’t go into detail about all of that, because most of the day was given to housework, of the purging/organizing sort that I’m making a priority this year. To top it off, the gardener came late in the afternoon, and pruned more trees and bushes. When he is here I usually also work in the garden or tidy up the garage.

It was lovely to be in the garden and not get wet. Eleven days of the last two weeks were rainy; I was reminded today that January in my area is the month with the most rainfall, and that was a blessing in several ways. When it rains, we are rarely forbidden to burn wood, so my house has been cozy from all the fires I’ve been able to keep going, and the wood stove often keeps putting out heat until the afternoon of the next day. That means that when I wake up I am not so cold I threaten to go into dormancy, and I can put my mind to ideas and projects other than going back to bed or making multiple mugs of hot cocoa.

First Alejandro leveled the fountain. I don’t know why it gets wonky so easily, causing all the water to fall off one side of the upper tier. I am not very skillful at evening it out by myself.

The lemon tree, strawberry tree, and at least one pomegranate bush got trimmed and shaped, and much more order was restored to the garage and garden. Recently I mentioned about how the lemon tree was gangly and out of control, and my helper did have confidence about what to do now, and what we’ll do a little later. It looks much better after we removed several branches. I am always surprised at how good my lemon tree smells. I brought in a few of the trimmings and put them in a vase so that every time I come into the room I will get a whiff of that delicious scent.

What happened in the garden.

When I returned to California from the Rocky Mountains at the end of the year, I was surprised at the changes in the garden. Shrubs that had barely begun to take on fall colors before Christmas, suddenly were bare and brown. Though we’d had plenty of frosts in the fall, the zinnas under a covered walkway continued to hang on — until the solstice, apparently…. They heard it was officially winter, and they knew in their deepest parts that winter is not for them. They lost their will to live.

The lemons are all bigger and brighter. This tree is so leggy, it needs a good pruning, but I don’t know quite how to proceed at this point… and I especially am puzzled about when to do the job, because it seems always to be bearing. Maybe Alejandro will know what to do.

My spider plant, though it was healthy and green through last winter and this frosty fall, seems to be dead. But cyclamen are popping up, no doubt loving the heavy rains that have thoroughly soaked the ground. Yesterday I found several containers in the yard that had collected a foot of water in the last ten days.

The fountain that I’d turned off before leaving is filled to the brim from that rain, and while I was gone Alejandro pruned the plum and fig trees, and the wisteria. The pomegranates left on those dwarf bushes turned pale from cold and old age. I’ll pluck them soon and put them out of their misery, and prune those bushes, which have grown slightly out of bounds.

With so much of the landscape at its most drab, I was surprised to see bright calendula faces. Dear, hardy little garden friends! God bless you, and all your companions as well, the many who are having a brief rest while you keep watch, and shine brighter than the January sun.