(but, fortunately, not looms that are lemons!)
We went over this evening and flipped over the loom platform, then covered it with a roll of black rubber flooring, like so:
It’s wonderful – nicely resilient and nonskid. I suspect, however, that I made a tactical error with the coloring – we didn’t even manage to get it laid down before dusty footprints started appearing.
Nonetheless, it’s ready, and I’m thrilled.
I am also ridiculously delighted with our lemon tree. This will probably sound silly, but I find fruit trees fascinating, probably the result of growing up a city girl. The idea that you can walk up to a tree, pick something off of it, and eat it! constantly amazes me.
(I remember my freshman year at Stanford – on my third or fourth day there I went to the post office to check my new mailbox, and discovered to my amazement that there were orange trees!!!! in front of the post office. I went sprinting back to my room to tell this stunning news to my roommates – who gave me the kind of pitying look you give to a total idiot. (They were from Arizona and San Diego, respectively, where orange trees are as common as dirt.) I said, “You don’t understand! I know where oranges come from. They come from those big cardboard boxes in the back of the grocery store, or occasionally in those netted bags. But these oranges were on a tree!!”
They gave me an even more pitying look. (But I got back at them a few weeks later when a group of us went on a ski trip…and they both saw their first snowfall. It was pretty funny watching them wax so ecstatic over the stuff I spent my entire childhood shoveling off sidewalks.))
At any rate, I am not only ridiculously delighted with having a fruit tree (did I mention that we also have an almond tree in front of the house?) , but particularly with having a Meyer lemon tree. Citrus trees generally fascinate me, because I never saw one growing up (too frost-sensitive for where we were living), but I’m particularly fond of Meyer lemons. They have a delightfully fruity/floral scent, very different from the sharpness of a regular lemon, and the juice is also mellower and fruitier. With a regular lemon, all you really taste is tartness; with a Meyer lemon, you get a distinctly fruity overtone, like a mix of lemon and orange juice. (Which is not that surprising since the Meyer lemon is actually a cross between an orange and a lemon.) The skin is smooth (not nubbly), soft, and deep orange-gold when fully ripe. It’s a wonderful fruit, and super useful for me, since I love lemonade and drink about a gallon a week (if not more!). If I could have only one fruit tree, it would be a Meyer lemon tree – which is why I’m so ecstatic that we “inherited” a fully grown one.
Here is a photo of the magical Meyer:
It still needs some pruning (it’s so dense in some areas that we can’t even get to the fruit), but I’ll put that off until the end of the growing season. Right now it’s covered in gorgeous, intensely fragrant blossoms, and I’d hate to traumatize it while it’s flowering and setting fruit, so we’ll wait until it’s more dormant to do major pruning.
We’re still considering what other magical fruit trees to plant. (And will probably continue considering for awhile, since bareroot season won’t come until next January.) There are so many things to try! Apricots, apriums, peaches, nectarines, pears. Persimmons and pomegranates, apples and almonds, plums and pluots. Not to mention the dizzying array of citrus: lemons, limes, grapefruits, mandarin oranges, navel oranges, blood oranges, Seville oranges, Etrog citrons, Buddha’s hand citrons, kaffir limes, rangpur limes, kumquats, limequats, and bergamot, oh my! (And many more that I haven’t mentioned!)
All this and we only have space for three or four trees. Because some varieties are not self-pollinating, we will likely wind up planting multibudded trees rather than, say, two plums that ripen around the same time (and would inundate us with fruit). In a multibudded tree, more than one variety is grafted onto the same tree, and (with judicious pruning) the varieties stay balanced well enough that you get four kinds of fruit from one tree.
It’s at least eight months to planting season, but I’m already planting and pruning, in my mind.
Meanwhile, there are slightly less lofty things to deal with: I’m going to work on the garden this weekend. I’m working tomorrow (Saturday), but Sunday I plan to get a big load of compost and work it into the soil, then start planting whatever I can find at the nursery or can plant from seed, so late in the season. Tomatoes and peppers, of course, and bush-style green beans. Zucchini, definitely. A habanero pepper if I can find one. And the rest? I’m not sure – it would be fun to grow corn, but it’s definitely on the late side for that. Basil, maybe, and a small herb garden. I’ll probably spend at least an hour Sunday stalking down the aisles of our local nursery, looking for interesting-and-exotic things I can plant in the new garden.
Off to bed! Tomorrow morning I’m meeting the painters to inspect the freshly-painted house with them, and then I’m hoping to sneak down to the restaurant supply store to pick up (hooray!) my dye sink, which arrived today. And then I’ll have to rush off to Stanford, where I’ll spend the rest of the day studying up on content management systems (Drupal in particular). Alas, work calls; so gardening will have to wait until Sunday.