I had planned to write about more summer herbs today,
but my sister reminded me about the "lemon tree" song
and her memories of playing a lemon tree in a school play.
So I decided to write a little about the song,
and a little about the tree.
So first, the lemon tree song.
According to Portland Monthly Magazine,
the song "Lemon Tree" was written by Maine resident Will Holt.
Some sources say the song is an adaptation of a Brazilian folk tune
arranged by José Carlos Burle in the 1930s.
The lemon tree song has been a popular recording choice since the 50s,
and it was the theme song for introducing Lemon Pledge in the 1960s.
Here's the sheet music for a recording of the song by Peter, Paul, and Mary:
A friend commented recently
about her (unsuccessful) attempts to grow a lemon tree.
So I thought I'd read up a little on lemon trees,
especially since I would like to grow one too.
Container-grown Meyer Lemon trees
that are appearing in garden centers now
are always advertised as growing up to look like this:
Unfortunately, they usually end up looking like this,
if they retain their leaves at all:
So how to grow one of these?
Here are some tips from About.com:
Meyer Lemon trees need lots and lots of light.
They need protection from the wind
and a temperature range of 50 to 80 degrees.
A large pot with high quality potting soil.
Most importantly, consistently moist soil.
Here are the things that will kill a potted lemon tree:
Too much water, too cold, too much or too little fertilizer.
And too little light.
It sounds so easy,
so I'm tempted to give one a try out in my breakfast room
or maybe my living room, two rooms that get a lot of light.
My mother was given a Meyer Lemon tree by her sister
and her plant grew vigorously and produced a lot of fruit.
I wish I had asked her how she had been taking care of it,
but her kitchen had lots of light from east-facing windows.
I don't know if she ever put the container outside,
maybe in the summer.
I learned something else about lemon trees--
they actually grow wild in Virginia.
More about that tomorrow.