The Texas Garden in November, Mostly Citrus Edition

Happy to report there have been no more dead possum incidents, though the dog has started digging in the garden… so couple solid weeks of “that’s a bad dog” around here.

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He’s very contrite, I’m sure.

It isn’t too bad- he’s picked spots that needed to be turned over, so if he would just stop kicking the dirt into the walkways we’d call it cultivating.

The first Meyers lemon ripened and was picked by the three year old, who claims the plant as her own.

This one will be ready in a few more days, these are about half sized what you normally see off these plants

She has a special affinity for this lemon tree; she remembers from last year when she had her second round of flu (first time was with the A strain, second time with the B- the poor girl) and instead of prescribing Tamiflu (which we had used the first go round and made her puke terribly) her doctor sent us on our way with 2 Meyers lemon from his tree and directions to ride it out and drink hot lemon and honey a couple times a day.

And look, I don’t know if we can attribute it to the lemon, but that was the quickest and mildest flu, she was better much faster than I expected. And I’d be suspect if any other pediatrician pulled something like that- but this is the one who caught the second round of my oldest’s pneumonia she was hospitalized from. We’ve gone to his practice for all three kids for the last 10 years and trust him, and so we made the honey and lemon water as directed.

And it’s odd how memory works- because the toddler has brought it up a couple of times in the year since- it really stuck in her memory, carrying these huge lemons her doctor grew out of of the office. She knows this is the same kind of lemon (we’ve discussed it) and she wanted to make “lemon coffee water” when she picked that first lemon. You got it kid.

We’re planning on putting it in the ground, and years from now I can already see myself as the grandmother handing out giant lemons to grandkids when they’re sick. Look, I know correlation isn’t causation, but a little lemon never hurt, so it’s worth a shot, amiright?

In other citrus news, the calamondin is almost ripe… we’re SO close to the calamondin bundt cake discussed here.

Ripen my pretties!

The tall plant behind the calamondin in the picture above is the key lime tree- which really does work off a different harvest time than the other citrus. The key lime has limes that ripen in the summer (perfect for adult type summer drinks) while most citrus ripen in the late fall/early winter.

I’ve had this particular key lime tree for twenty two years now and it was our Christmas tree for a couple of the college years. And in all that time, I’ve probably harvested limes about 8-10 times. It’s difficult to get a reliable harvest off of it since it blooms in winter to set fruit in summer. The plants themselves can survive very short bouts of freezing or slightly below freezing temperatures, but the blossoms can’t. I’ve lost many a year’s key lime harvests from forgetting to bring the plant in on a cold night when it had flower buds on it… that quickly dropped off from the cold. Considering it has wicked thorns and a five foot spread of branches, I’m VERY happy to have a shed to put it in finally on the coming colder nights as it is a bit of a pain to move in and out. (32 in the forecast for next week actually!)

Considering the rest of the country has already had SIGNIFICANT cold weather I know to be grateful for this Texas citrus weather.

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I took this picture on my trip to Denver last week. No bueno.

In other news, the bird feeders have been busy, and the cat’s have noticed…

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She has her full winter coat and is set up right under a feeder in this shot. I shooed her away and I swear there have been no casualties despite her determined look.

The white mist shrub is blooming, and is covered with bees and butterflies. It’s a short bloom window, but absolutely earns it’s keep. We even added a second one across the yard. The first one is a good 5 feet wide, and is 3′ tall only with significant pruning in the spring otherwise it’d be much taller. It needs management so it doesn’t get woody and floppy, so it’s one I trim pretty severely. Blooms on new wood though, so all that pruning just makes for a more floriferous fall.

Smells nice too

The Mexican Olive tree is still in flower as well, so that side of the yard is full of white flowers. After the main branch broke last year we just kind of left it mostly to it’s own devices to see what form it would take, and so far we’re quite pleased with it.

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Call it a good 8-9 feet tall and a huge pain with those lower branches every time I drag the hose by it. And yet… I kinda like them so a huge pain they remain.
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Close up of the flowers and my life, heart, and fate lines. (the utter nonsense that I nonetheless know about)
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Our giant carpenter bee- who was so nearly impossible to get a photo off.  As giant as it is, it is in no way intimidating- unlike those freaky giant brownish red yard dragonflies. They’ve never done anything to me, and they’re eating mosquitoes, but they give me the willies. 
And the new addition- a salvia I’ve completely forgotten the name of the second we got it home. 

The fact that I forgot a plant name is a bit new to me and just reiterates the welcome to middle age messages the universe has been throwing my way. Finding myself saying things like “These Talbots jeans fit so great!” and “I prefer Benefiber, myself” and “Let me show you the kitchen drawers I spent all weekend organizing” does make me feel like this is most definitely a new stage of life. No wistfulness for youth, just a thing I notice lately. But whatever, don’t tell me those drawers aren’t awesome.

Gotta use decaf iced tea most days too. Getting older is not for the weak, lemme tell ya.
Brings a tear to my eye and I honestly thought I only had one yellow koozie this whole time. 

6 thoughts on “The Texas Garden in November, Mostly Citrus Edition

  1. Such a sweet story of your little one and the doctor’s lemons. I grow nothing outdoors worth getting excited about but your green thumb is impressive. I do however bake a lot and my kitchen drawers could TOTALLY use a makeover. From time to time I shop online for little bins or dividers or organizers of some sort thst would fit in my drawers. I never find what I want and abandon ship.

    Where do you store your beloved goat cheese? Ha!!

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