The Lemon Tree

The Lemon Tree – Chalk on paper

Well hello there, how are you? I hope my words find you peaceful today.

So this is my first attempt at drawing outside. 

The work is a quick sketch done in chalk (one of my favourite mediums) – I would tell you the brand but the chalk  is so old I swear I had it while I was at art school. 

The image is of a lemon tree in my garden. 

I chose this subject as my first because I love this tree. I have many favourites in my garden and where I walk, but this one has a special place in my heart, Why?

First let me take you back to when we first moved into our house. One thing we noticed was that the garden was oddly planted. Things that needed sun were in full shade and others that needed shade where suffering from major heat stress. I am/was not a very experienced gardener but I could tell that what was happening was incorrect. For example the people before us had planted an apple tree straight up against the side of the house, why would you do that? Alongside this poor squished apple tree was a skinny little Lemon tree, placed directly underneath and in the shade of a massive gum tree, right up against the fence, it had no room or sun. I am not sure why the people before us liked to plant big trees right next to solid structures, but there you go. No judgement as my life has not been super liner to the general outsider either. Whatever the reason it was up to me to correct it.

After doing a quick google and reading 1/2 a page about moving an established tree, I thought to myself, this was going to be easy. So at the end of August I dug a trench around the roots and cut some away. Doing this was quite hard and in hind site I should have realised that it was just going to get harder. But no, I thought to myself “wow that was difficult but the rest will be easy”. After waiting the required 4 weeks to let the roots settle out of shock, I prepared the area I was going to move the tree to. A lovely clear space with sun all day round and a perfect spot for me to duck out and grab a lemon when the need arose. 

When it came to get the tree out of the ground this experience was intense. It was so heavy and took many hours of digging, I was sure I was killing it. I got so exhausted that I came inside the house close to tears saying to hubby, “I can’t do this, maybe we should just buy another tree.” and I collapsed onto the nearest chair. His response was simple, with a slight eye role, and giving me one of his quirky smiles, he comfortingly said “Come on I’ll help.” Then putting down what he was doing he came out to help me move the tree.

It was such a cumbersome thing to move, we rocked and wobbled, rocked and wobbled, and just like a stubborn tooth the roots slowly realised and we finally raised the tree. With the massive root ball intact we tipped it onto an old bit of tarp, and just like mobsters, dragged the “body” across the entire front lawn to the fresh new hole, filled with wonderful compost, sand and fertiliser. We heaved the tree up and into the hole, filled it in and viola the lemon tree was in its new home, easy.

After the big move I trimmed, watered, and gave it encouraging words. Then after a little while it started growing new leaves and branching out. And now after nearly 12 months flowers are starting to bud and I feel we are going to get some lemons soon. Which will be the best lemons ever I just know it.  

So that is the amazing survival story of my wonderful lemon tree . But what happened to the apple tree? Unfortunately as it was so close the houses foundations, plumbing and wiring we could not dig it out, and had to cut it down. However, we did use some of the wood to smoke a very nice roast pork which was excellent, and also used the rest for our open fire and toasted some yummy marshmallows which was lovely. 

Well that is me for this week I will write again next week, until then hopefully I will see you on the path soon, be safe everyone. 

Published by allihoward123

Allison Howard main passion has always been story telling works predominantly with illustration and completed her MFA at Monash University, Melbourne 2012. Graduating with the Chancellors award for best Thesis. Allison Has worked and collaborated with many artists and exhibitions, in both Australia and New Zealand. To be kept up to date with Allison's latest activity and to view her current and archived works please visit Instagram @alli.howard123 and hit the follow button.

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