One of the pleasures of the climate in this part of the country is that it is similar to the climate of Italy where olives, lavender and citrus can grow well with proper care. When my son was a little boy, he decided we needed a few lemon and lime trees after spotting them at local nursery. Having seen them grow in humongous pots at a beautiful villa in Italy, I had to agree, we needed to try our hand at this despite his mother not having a green thumb.
Over the years and much to my surprise, my two lemon trees and one lime tree have become my pride and joy and the only “hobby” I can claim due to a hectic work life.
Certain traditions have been established at Villa Vigneto Texas to include the giving of the “The Bull” (the biggest lemon...synonymous with “The Bull” of a litter) to a dear friend each year as a birthday gift. We tie a ribbon around The Bull and whoever is the lucky birthday person that year cuts the largest lemon off its limb to take home as a gift, marking the start of the lemon harvest.
After the harvest, the lemons will get packed in cellophane bags tied with ribbon and fresh lemon leaves or boxed with a straw bedding and shipped across the US to dear friends and family.
While our 7-year drought sometimes hindered the size of our lemons, oftentimes the harvest completely fills a picnic basket!
When you stay at Villa Vigneto Texas and as you enter the Trellis Courtyard, look to the left and you will see our lemon and lime trees. Or, you may see them in their portable greenhouse (that they love) in the winter. If they are blooming, be sure to put your nose up to the blossom and take a big sniff….it is the most delightful, light, and lovely smell you can imagine. In my next post, I step up my love of lemons and try my hand at Lemoncello liqueur....yum!