Labour of love

After the gardening bug bit me on Saturday I decided it was time to see how my lovely little lemon tree was doing.

It lives in the lean-to that we use as a utility room and often gets forgotten amongst the never-ending piles of washing (how exactly do 2 people create so much to be washed,its not like we wear three different outfits each day – well not normally any way!).

So off I pottered to check it out.

HORROR.

It had been hit by another bout of scale insect (ugh ugh ugh). These evil creatures don’t look much – rather like raised brown ovals along the leaf veins –they aren’t even moving –but boy are they hard to get rid of. There was nothing for it but to don rubber gloves and attack them with warm soapy water and an e-cloth (yes those magic cloths that are great for cleaning just about everything with no nasty chemicals and almost no need for elbow grease). This of course takes ages. Even on a small tree or shrub you need to clean every single leaf thoroughly on both sides,scraping away at the nasty bugs to get them off. So on my small lemon I reckon there are about 40 leaves at the moment and it took well over an hour to do.

But it was worth it because now,after spraying the tree with safe for vegetable and fruit tree bug killer stuff and keeping a vigilant watch over the coming weeks,the one solitary lemon that’s growing will hopefully get to full size and ripen up. Maybe I’ll get some new blossom and more fruits and then there’ll be the chance to make lemon curd.

And few things beat homemade lemon curd slathered on good white bread toast (extra thickly cut of course so its crispy on the outside and delightfully soft inside).


YUM!

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