Meyer lemon ripening in winter

Last spring we were traveling in Spain just when the orange trees were in bloom. The fragrance of orange blossoms may be the most memorable part of the journey; the exquisitely soft, delicate perfume surrounded us both in Madrid and south into Andalusia. I was hoping to recreate the smell somehow when returned home.

Now, everyone knows that citrus trees do not thrive in Ohio, but the local nurseries ignore that fact and fill their garden centers with lemon, lime, orange, as well as fig and other exotic trees.  I chose a small Meyer lemon tree, a shrub really, and put it into a decorative pot and placed it on the patio.

Throughout the summer it bloomed twice.  The first time in mid-June it produced two fruit, one of which was knocked off when I was moving the plant.  The other can be seen in the photo above that I took today.  The second period of bloom was in August and has just kept going.  It was wild with bees the entire time until the weather got cold enough that I had to bring the lemon tree into our sunroom. It also has grown many small fruit while it has been indoors and I can only hope that they grow and, perhaps, ripen too in several months.  By then it should be back outside in the real sun rather than rays filtered through glass and an array of grow lights I’ve put around.

This all seems like a miracle to me.  How could this plant bloom continuously? Even more amazing is the tenacity of that single lemon that took all these months to ripen in the dead of winter.  There is a lesson here about the rewards of nurturing; the ability to thrive through adversity;  the joy to be found in the unexpected;  and the fact that life goes on beautifully even in January in Ohio.