In spite of the very dry season, we have a bountiful crop of lemons and limes so I picked a basketful to decorate my shop and was setting them out when a friend came by for a chat. “Are these organic?”, she asked. Not certified, I explained, but picked from the garden that very morning, complete with snails and certainly free from any chemical fertilisers or sprays. Grown in the old duck yard, they thrive on the naturally rich soil. “Did you know organic lemons are almost impossible to buy”, my friend said. “They’re $16.95 a kilo at the Health Store because of the shortage so these will sell. They are gold!” she laughed. I wasn’t actually planning to sell them, but if there’s a shortage, why not! So if you’re looking for beautiful fresh, home-grown lemons come by The Potting Shed and pick up a bag. As we have several very prolific trees in our garden, I use them a lot in cooking – a lemon fresh from the tree is so completely different in flavour to those on the supermarket shelf. They’re particularly useful for a quick little lunch of chicken tenderloins, tossed in lemon thyme, butter, lemon juice, a splash of good olive oil and lemon zest. Quickly on the grill and onto grilled rye or focaccia with fresh rocket. Yum. We’re expecting a shipment of espaliered lemons, limes and cumquats this week at The Potting Shed. Can’t wait to see them. So perfect for courtyard gardens.
Above: Lemons in Positano. Years ago I was a guest of my dear London friend Paul who had rented for his fortieth birthday an ancient, stunningly renovated fortress on a cliff overlooking the Amalfi Coast. To get from the carpark to the villa below, we had to walk down a series of terraces all trellised with lemons. It was magical – the combination of the hot, mediterranean summer air, the breathtaking views of the coastline and the perfume from the sun warmed lemons which hung down like thousands of tiny yellow chandeliers!