The most rewarding thing you can do is plant a lemon tree. Margaret Roberts shares with us planting tips, health benefits and a lovely lemonade recipe too…
If you are short on space, plant a Meyer lemon in a pot. This is the only lemon that does well in a pot and the one in our kitchen garden constantly offers luscious, smooth skinned and beautifully juicy lemons, asking only to be watered once a week.
Lemons are abundantly in fruit in the cold months, but the Meyer lemon bears all year round and can be neatened and lightly pruned once the spring starts to stir, so shaping the tree is easy.
Lemon trees that are potted should be watered well twice a week, and should be given a bucket of compost at the end of summer and again in the spring. By doing this, you will maintain the vitality of your lemon tree.
Every part of the precious lemon (Citrus limon) is valuable. Its exquisite flowers are rich in fragrant oils and its leaves can be added during cooking to give a delicious flavour, while the skin can be used in cosmetics and creams and the juice to make delicious lemonade.
- Grated rind with the juice and crushed coriander seed makes a wonderful marinade for fish and meat.
- A slice of lemon in a cup of boiling water is an excellent detoxifier.
- Once you have squeezed out the juice, use the empty skins as a beauty treatment for dry rough elbows or for cracked heels by rubbing the moist juicy inside with coarse salt and then applying it to the heels or elbows and massaging it in well.
- Digging your nails into a squeezed out lemon half will strengthen the nails as well as the cuticles, and the soft white pith in the inside of the skin acts as a toner and hardener for nails, lessening cracks and nail breakages.
- Lemon and honey cough mixture is one of the most loved of all medicinal treatments, and a mixture of 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of honey, along with some chopped sage, remains a popular cough treatment in many families.
- Don’t forget to use ½ a cup of fresh lemon juice when rinsing your hair after shampooing, as this will brighten and strengthen your hair.
Recipe: Stevia Lemonade
For a delicious healthy drink, squeeze the juice of 2 lemons into a tall glass, add “stevia syrup” made this way:
- 1 tablespoon of finely chopped stevia leaves simmered for 5 minutes in 1 cup of water, then cooled. Stir well, and then strain.
- Add the syrup to the lemon juice, discard the leaves, fill the glass with a cup of iced water and the stevia syrup, mix well, add crushed ice and sip slowly.
Stevia helps to lower high blood pressure and high cholesterol, and is safe for diabetics. Replace sugar and all sweeteners with fresh or dried stevia.
For more info
Note: Margaret Roberts has a fine selection of plants and seeds available from her nursery. Her shop stocks a wide variety of their health products that can be posted to you. Should you at any stage be stuck for fresh botanicals or natural cosmetic bases such as aqueous cream, these can be couriered or posted to you.
Words: Margaret Roberts
Styling: Sandy Roberts
Pictures: Sandy Roberts and Supplied