Last Mother’s Day Chance bought me a Meyer Lemon Tree.  It was big and healthy and I picked a sunny spot on the edge of my yard where I figured she would flourish.

lemon girl 2

This picture (above) was a few months back when the fruit was starting to ripen.  I often had to remind Sloane not to pick the lemons yet.  Everything I’ve read about Meyer lemons describe them as “small” lemons, well I’m not sure what got into ours, but they are not small.


See the tag, I trust they truly are Meyer lemons and that my super green thumb just made them grow like crazy. 😉

bee bee bumble bee

bumble bee

It rained here for what felt like 40 days and 40 nights and then Sunday morning I woke up to the bluest sky I’d ever seen.  I decided it was a good day to harvest the lemons off the tree, they were bordering on too ripe.  Little bees were all over the blooms, collecting pollen like crazy.  The fruit is mostly on the bottom half of the tree, or perhaps the weight of the lemons just made it appear that way.  The tallest branches on the tree are probably 8 or 9 feet tall.


I should have backed up a little to show the whole tree, but I was fixated on those sunny yellow lemons.  The spotlight and Christmas tree lights protected the tree during some very pretty low temperature dips back in January.  Meyer lemons are very cold hearty, but I hated to risk it.  I didn’t pick all the lemons, but this was a good start…


A couple of weeks ago I thought I would preserve the lemons in salt like this.  But I don’t know what I’d do with them other than admire their prettiness.  So I decided to juice them.


I cut and cut and juiced and juiced.  I went out and bought an electronic juicer, but ended up just using my old fashioned one left over from a photo shoot a few years back.

cut lemsons

And just to show the scale, some of these lemons are almost as tall as a soda can.

lemon size

At the end of the juice fest this is what remained.
juicy 2

And I was left with 89 fluid ounces of Meyer lemon juice.  What pray tell would one do with 89 ounces of Meyer lemon juice?  I am going to freeze it in ice cube trays and save them for smoothies and for iced tea this summer.  I also tend to love a lemon glaze on blueberry muffins and scones and can easily thaw a cube or two for this purpose too.

89 ounces of meyer lemon juice

Point of my story, if you’ve been wondering if a Meyer lemon tree would be a good addition to your family, I highly recommend them.  They also thrive in containers so if you live somewhere cold you could always bring them indoors for the winter.  I was tempted to order these cute trays for my juice, aren’t they fun?  This weekend I plan to transfer the lemon cubes to freezer zip-loc bags, don’t want to run the risk of any freezer burn.
ice cube trays from amazon


  1. Candace Horner says:

    I keep repeating in my head “when life gives you lemons”…… lol… I can actually smell your lemons as I read this, they are just beautiful and amazing!!! Don’t know if I can keep one of these plants in New Jersey, but I am going to try! Sooo beautiful!!

  2. Yum! We had one growing up and would eat them with a little sugar sprinkled on top! Guess that would explain the acid erosion and stern “stay away from acidic foods” talk I get from my dentist 🙂 But boy are they yummy! You should try this recipe with all those beauties you’ve got.

  3. Wow! Those really got big. I have been thinking about getting one of these but I do live in a colder climate so ill have to try the potted method. Thanks for the tips!

  4. what a fun and colorful post for this morning. i love seeing all those lemons! what a fun idea. now i want a lemon tree for my backyard!

  5. I DIE! I really love lemons, and your tree in incredible! Lemons aren’t nearly as common as limes down here, and when I find them, they’re rather sad and expensive 🙁
    Hello Lemonade (with raspberries!) popsicles for Sloane this summer!

  6. Girl, those beauties could easily be mistaken for oranges, they’re so big! Green thumb, indeed!

  7. I think you should make Meyer Lemon Limoncello!

  8. Yay! I’m in the market for a lemon tree right this very minute. Who knew there were different ‘brands’? I was kind of wondering what in the good earth I was going to do with all those lemons.

  9. Jen from Texas says:

    My Meyer Lemon tree produces HUGE lemons, too! They’re divine!

  10. All the sudden I’m craving lemons. It’s such a pretty crop. 🙂

  11. 89 ounces is amazing!! Did you try any of the juice? I wonder if you could use it to make some yummy sugar cookies or another type of baked good? I need your green thumb to come help me. I can kill a cactus without much effort!

  12. OH MY!!!! Those lemons look more like the size of grapefruits! Nice work! Love that you will have the cubes to use whenever the mood strikes. I have craved lemonade during this pregnancy, so I am salivating a little just looking at these pictures!

  13. How fun – I bet that is the bet tasting lemon juice as so fresh

  14. Good gracious that thing is gorgeous!

  15. saving the juice in cubes is such a great idea! and how wonderful to grow your own lemons…we live in minnesota, but when we visit my grandpa in california over the winters it is such a treat to go out in the mornings and pick a fresh orange off his trees. nothing like it. the ones i buy in the stores here just can’t compare.

    and what a green thumb you have! fun post.

  16. Wasn’t the weather glorious on Saunday??? I was in your neck of the woods for the Seaside School race. I could not get enough of that weather goodness!!

  17. That is a beautiful tree and you will enjoy that Meyer lemon juice. Think lemon drops and Meyer lemon ice cream. Martha S. is also somewhat obsessed with Meyer lemons. I would imagine that she and the Barefoot Contessa have some pretty great recipes on this front.

    I must confess to having a horrible case of sun envy when I saw your pictures and read the story. We haven’t had any sun here in Seattle this winter. It actually snowed again yesterday. I think my family and I need to adopt your tree just so that we can get some sun reports in exchange for our sending of fertilizer and the like. Enjoy!

  18. I never even considered a fruit tree before. But now I want one.

  19. A few weeks ago a friend of my mom’s sent us a bowl of lemons (Don’t know if they were Meyer’s, but I think they were) from her tree in Orange Beach. I got 24 ounces of lemon juice from them, enough to make a nice large batch of lemon curd. I thought I’d use Ina Garten’s recipe. http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/lemon-curd-recipe/index.html Haven’t done it yet, but it’s on my to-do-list. I’m going to can it in Mason jars. It will be so nice to pull it out when lemon season is over!

  20. Good night nurse!!! I’ve thought about a lemon tree but now I’m sold! What a cute mothers day present 🙂 we make lemonade all summer – juice of 5 lemons 1 cup of sugar fill the rest of a pitcher with water and stir! Crazy yummy 🙂 its on me blog under recipes 🙂

  21. Mmmm, I can just imagine the heavenly smell! I’ve read you can freeze the leftover juiced lemon and use them in your garbage disposal. Wonder if you could freeze the zest as well? Great gift for sure. 🙂

  22. Love it! What a great idea to freeze the juice into cubes!! I am trying to talk my mom into letting me steal some of her tomatoes this summer and make my own tomato sauce! We shall see how that goes! Happy Wednesday!

  23. Puts my orange tree to shame!! Nothing beats fresh lemon juice!!!

  24. The juice would make a mighty delicious lemon curd, too!!

  25. I just recently bought some Meyers Lemons at the grocery store and made a pie like key lime, it was good! I also used them in my cooked glaze for bread pudding, also VERY good. Thanks for posting this, I will def check into buying a tree!

  26. I have always wanted a lemon tree. Not sure how it would fair in rainy Seattle, but maybe I should give it a go. I buy lemons by the bag at the store, so I’m pretty sure they would not go to waste. I will check this out next time I’m at the local nursery.

  27. Wowie, those things are MASSIVE! Next time you harvest your lemons, freeze the leftover halves (they are great for cleaning cast iron or porcelain with some salt as an abrasive), or cut off the rinds and add them to a quart mason jar and cover with distilled white vinegar. Let sit for 2 weeks and you have an amazing all-purpose cleaner. You can also use the lemons “remains” to flavor roast chicken, flavor soups, or add to simmering water for a natural nasal decongestant (just breathe in the vapors). Lastly, try using your leftover lemon peel for homemade limoncello (I posted my recipe in this free eBook, if you’d like to check it out). Have fun with those lemons, I’m so jealous I can’t grow any here in Upstate NY!

  28. you should make tons and tons of lemon curd! I love it on crepes with a little whipped cream…mmmmm, I need to get me Meyer lemon tree.

  29. …what a cool thing…to grow lemons. Love this! 🙂

  30. those look like grapefruits! I’m thinking margaritas

  31. You definitely have a green thumb. Those lemons are huge! Now you have me craving summer days with lemonade and icy drinks.

  32. Zest those puppies! I’m pretty sure you can also freeze lemon zest, and use it as needed for all sorts of things.

  33. Christina says:

    Holy guacamole! Those are HUGE! So did you taste them? Meyer Lemon juice isn’t as tart as real lemons. Is that what it tasted like? We have a Meyer Lemon tree in a container right outside our kitchen door (with some succulents planted at the base). It’s beautiful, but sheesh, we don’t have NEARLY as much fruit on it (I think we have like 3 lemons on it – AND WE LIVE IN CA!). Did you feed your tree anything special?!

  34. Holy Moly that’s a lotta juice! What a pretty tree it is! It would look beautiful inside for the cold months for sure!

  35. I think I see lemonade sands in Sloane’s future!

  36. I just bought my Meyer lemons at Sams Not nearly as fun as pick them from the tree in my backyard! However, they are delicious and beautiful. I have been making lemon shakeups for my son and cutting them up for my iced tea. You have the happiest kitchen. I just love it.

  37. Triple sigh…what I wouldn’t give to experience a citrus tree in REAL LIFE. I live in the foothills of the pacific northwest and that kind of stuff just doesn’t grow here no matter how hard I try. This looks heavely….oh my gosh!

  38. beverly says:

    I’d never heard of Meyer lemons until Martha Stewart featured them – adding how superior they were. Funny, but when life gives me lemons, I tend to think “Lemon Pie”. How fortunate to be blessed with a bumper crop.

  39. I make homemade Limoncello … its delish!


  40. oh how i wish we were neighbors!! i go through a bag (or more) of lemons a week. in my salad dressing, in desserts, on my crepes, the zest as well as the juice!! here are a couple recipes for your next harvest, just in case…

    my favorite lemon cake: http://nineandsixteen.blogspot.com/2012/01/ina-starbucks.html

    and this one I just pinned, but have yet to make {upside down meyer lemon cake}:http://www.wholeliving.com/131602/meyer-lemon-upside-down-cake?czone=eat-well/seasonal-foods/year-round&center=136760&gallery=136706&slide=130270


  41. Ummm, hello? Limoncello! So amazing. It takes a ton of lemons…but only the yellow part of the peels. THEN you can juice them 🙂

  42. Those lemons look so refreshing and delicious. How awesome that you can grow them in your yard!! Unfortunately that probably wouldn’t work out so well for me in Chicago 🙂 I’ll have to live vicariously through your citrus adventures. Giant lemons always make me think of the Amalfi coast, so many lemons the air practically smelled like them, so lovely!

  43. Jess R. says:

    So happy to have you back blogging more often! I check every day, and your posts always brighten my day. They are always interesting no matter what little details they focus on!

  44. My mom has a Meyer lemon tree at their place in orange beach and we thought it was a grapefruit tree those things were so big! Maybe it’s the salt air. It seems to be a cure all

  45. Ahhh. The softball size Florida lemons. Have some too, yet ours sprouted off of a varigated lemon tree (striped yellow and green on the outside PINK on the inside! Get one!) So I presume much of our Florida lemons go back to the original that they were grafted to. Just my thought.

    But, dayum, these originals ARE prolific with both fruit AND juice!

    I always try to make limoncello with them….adding some rhine to vodka letting it steep for months…give it away as Christmas gifts.

  46. Angela Alwine says:

    I got a dwarf meyer lemon tree for my first mother’s day. It didn’t last too long. I live in Indiana, and you definitely need a grow light in the winter around here or a very very sunny window. I also overwatered the poor thing terribly, it’s really easy to do in a container. ergh. maybe I’ll try one again some day. jealous….

  47. Angela Alwine says:

    oh and there is a dwarf version. Maybe the regular version gives bigger fruit? or your thumb is very green indeed.

  48. Is this Erika or Darby? ha! The tree is beautiful and the juice will be enjoyed all summer. Very smart choices you made. 🙂

  49. Erika, I love your kitchen! I have seen photos of it and always admired it but those photos with the lemons make it look so pretty. I wanted to ~pin~ it but only the first few images popped up…any ideas?
    Enjoy that juice, what a treat!!

  50. So glad you blogged! Love your photographic eye and the details in your shots. Those lemons are amazing! Wish Vancouver was more lemon tree friendly 😉 I’m having a difficult time keeping my kimberly queen ferns alive let alone a lemon tree 😉

  51. Kathleen says:

    Thin skin according to a published internet story from NPR– Meyers lemons are thin skinned! and edible! Martha Stewart featured this lemon in recipes and well every one wants one! Might you consider a county ag agent to tell you what kind of lemon you have? Is it really a meyers or an Improved meyers lemon as a canker virus whatever wiped them out . In this day and age of hucksters…. Knowledge is power. If you like the juice ..oh just google the meyers lemon and read the NPR story enuff said love ur blog:)

  52. ok, so somehow i posted this comment on a different post so here it goes again…

    you need to check out this blog:


    they have suggestions on what to do with your lemons 🙂

  53. These are beautiful! Reminds me of the lemons we used to have at our school’s country fair growing up. You’d get a big half of lemon with one of those Bob’s soft peppermint sticks stuck in it and suck the juice throught the peppermint stick. It was a treat that I looked forward to having every year- so yummy!

  54. We live in Santa Cruz CA and have the most incredible, healthy FANTASTIC meyer lemon tree around. My co-workers, friends and anyone else who has benefited from our harvest l o v e s
    it almost as much as we do. I could probably go out and pick 500 of them at this moment so we don’t have to be stingy.

    What have I been doing with them lately? Well making lemondrops of course! These are SO good, don’t be stingy with the mint, I think this is the best part. Oh and I don’t use nearly as much sugar either.

    The recipe is from Oprah’s Legends Ball:

    Servings: Serves 2

    Juice of 6 lemons
    4 tablespoons sugar
    6 fresh mint leaves
    4 shots vodka
    Ice in shaker
    1 sugar-rimmed martini glass

    Mix lemon juice, sugar and vodka in a martini shaker filled with ice. Shake well and pour into sugar-rimmed martini glass.

    Garnish with mint.

  55. I might have to order a lemon tree to keep inside. Such a good idea.

    Is that Jane’s Krazy Mixed Up Salt I spy on your countertop? We love that stuff!

  56. Hi Erika,
    I too have an overly prolific meyer lemon tree (and the lemons are not small either). 2 years ago a friend of mine and I squeezed as many as we could and made a very large batch of meyer lemon curd and canned and froze it into small 6 oz. jars. (We each had 20+ jars!) Little by little, it went on the table with scones from the local bakery, to friends and pick-me-ups and eventually, a jar plus home-baked scones and orchids for gifts to clients and colleagues for the holidays to great response! It lasted almost 1 year in the freezer. So, I say happy juicing! (Let me know if you want the recipe.)

  57. you’ve got to try this recipe- one of my all time favorites. Its so light and fluffy and I could eat it every day for breakfast or dessert, and my 2 year old son begs for it.



  58. January says:

    I have ordered a dwarf meyer lemon tree, and am hoping to be able to grow it indoors. I’m in Knoxville, TN. So tell me your secrets in growing those big beautiful lemons Ms. Green Thumb! 🙂 Don’t you love the way these lemons taste???

  59. Hi Erika, I’ve been following your blog for a long time and I LOVE it. Thanks for sharing it with us. I read this today on another blog I like and thought of you with all your myer lemons.


  60. What a lovely little tree! My brain wasn’t working when I first looked at this and at first I thought that little bit of juice left in the bowl was all you got! I somehow missed that whole giant jug!

  61. Simply Recipes did a post within the past two weeks–Meyer Lemon Risotto. Floats my boat. Loved the post.


  62. i am seriously craving some lemonade right now! how fun!!! i wonder if a lemon tree would grow in kansas!:) thanks for sharing!

  63. Wonderful photos as the yellow star, I love you for sharing it with a good amateur photographer. greetings.

  64. Lots of good uses for lemon juice. My personal favorite: for a Chilton beverage. Rim a glass with margarita salt, add ice, a shot of your preferred vodka, club soda and a good couple of squeezes of lemon juice. Stir and enjoy.

  65. I’m so jealous! Something I like to do when lemons aren’t crazy expensive at the store is to buy a bunch, juice them and then make a bunch of simple syrup. Then I divide the right amount of syrup in with the juice, along with some lemon zest and freeze that in lots of bags so when I’m ready for some homemade lemonade, all i have to do is pull out the bag and add the right amount of water for a huge pitcher full!

    Now I’m thinking I will ask for a Meyer Lemon tree for Easter or Mother’s Day! I can’t believe you got such beautiful fruit after only a year !

  66. We’ve had our Meyer lemon tree (“dwarf” – hah, it’s 9 feet tall) for over 30 years and regularly get 3 incredible harvests. Next time, microplane the zest and add it to spaghetti that’s tossed with warmed olive oil that you’ve sauteed some garlic in. A bit of chopped parsley…there’s some fast food. Also, if you make limoncello, which I highly recommend (the family lapped up my first batch last Christmas), you’ll need the zest of at least a dozen lemons. In summer, I make a simple syrup and leave it on the counter for impromptu lemonade for the kids; better than anything. Store pure juice in a bottle for a splash in a vinaigrette, too. Better than the plastic lemon!

  67. I think that I would like to live in your back yard. The little lemon tree is wonderful addition to all of your other glorious plantings.

    Here in the northeast I am seeing little green sprouts peeking out of the soil in my window boxes. Spring can’t be far away!

  68. Kathleen says:

    The only reason I ask– the tree identification tag reads MeyerS lemon and well is it not Meyer lemon? Meyer without the S ?? I know growers patent their roses and well, cuttings from certain roses are well wrong. I know sounds crazy — look out for the rose n er police. Did not anyone else notice the spelling on the plant ID tag??

  69. I’m so jealous you can raise lemons. : – (( They are beautiful.

  70. Totally unrelated, but I’d love to see how you’ve transitioned Sloane’s room into a big girl bedroom. I need some inspiration!

  71. tara faulkner says:

    Congratulations!!! I just opened my latest Coastal Living Mag to see your picture in the ads for the new Designer Home in Rosemary Beach! You are amazing through and through and as a long time follower, it is great to see others recognize what we have all seen for a long time. Congratulations again you busy, busy woman, mom, designer, wife, sister, etc, etc!

  72. obsessed with meyer lemons and very jealous of your gorgeous tree!

  73. Gorgeous lemons! Makes me feel like summer is really here….

  74. Came across this recipe and thought of this post. Another idea for all your lemons.

  75. Great idea about the ice cubes….we have a Meyer Lemon tree too. I made a great blueberry and lemon tart….

  76. Great!

  77. Wow! Just heard about your blog and see your husband is named Chance. That is my son’s name! Don’t hear it very often.

  78. I can’t look at this, albeit adorable, post again…I’ve clicked back here so many times, I feel sad when I see the lemons.
    So I thought, why not just subscribe, then I’ll get a notification of a new post. But the subscribe button doesn’t work (have someone check for you) I’ve tried a few times, days apart…it opens up to programming script for your blog.

  79. Oh my ..how fantastic having that beautiful tree and your own wonderful harvest of lemons. Soooo jealous, too far north here for citrus…sigh.

  80. Kathleen says:

    I think an unpaid internship is in order. Some enterprising web designer or english major or communications major could blog. The ghost host could find Erika’s voice or what am I thinking –just because Laura, Martha Stewart’s sister writes her blog that doesn’t mean we will be content with a faux blog post. This is so silly— as William Shatner on SNL told the trekkies at a convention in their Spock ears ” Get a Life! Go out and live a little. excuse me, there is a pile of laundry that needs folding i need to empty out the dishwasher, pack my lunch and leave for my P.M. job oh and sign my tax form and drop it in the post. Happy Mothers Day Erika.

  81. Make lemoncello. It’s simply divine on hot days!

  82. ahhhhh! the blog is so beautiful!

  83. Katharina says:

    wow… new blog design…looks great… simply beautiful and elegant! Sunday greetings from Germany.

  84. Love the new blog design! I click over almost every day (hello Creepy McCreeperson, ha!) to see if you’ve updated and did a double-take last night when I saw the pretty new design!

  85. maggi moss says:

    Loved seeing you in the May issue of Southern Living! The fun room looks great! Great to know someone else collects the vintage paint by number dog paintings too!

  86. tara faulkner says:

    You deserve some amazing praise!!!!!!!! So, in one month you updated your blog site, received accolades for your design work in Southern Living, stayed busy as a mom and wife, ran an amazing company, worked on the Designer Showcase Home, etc, etc, etc. Again, I am absolutely amazed and proud to be a blog follower! Great things are happening at Urban Grace thanks to your leadership and talent! Keep up the unbelievable work!

  87. tara faulkner says:

    You are simply amazing! Love the new blog site and saw the praise in Southern Living! You truly deserve it and so much more! Thank you for keeping up the blog when you have so much going on in your life! You are greatly appreciated!!!

  88. Make Limoncello! We made it for my wedding reception last year and had to purchase organic lemons (cha ching, cha ching!). Guess we needed a Meyer lemon tree 🙂

  89. So excited to see you in Coastal Living AND Southern Living this month! Congrats! Please share some photos of the Coastal Living home on your blog for those of us that live on the opposite coast! Would love to see it!

  90. Well everyone is writing about seeing you in Southern Living but I just saw you somewhere else! Don’t know if you are a Bachelor fan, but Molly Mesnick featured an outfit you wore on her blog as a look she loves. Thought you’d like to know! http://mollymesnick.com/2012/04/look-i-love-6/

  91. So ncie very nice!

  92. Where did you go???

  93. Congrats on the Ultimate Designer Beach House!!! You rock!

  94. Leanne says:

    Looking forward to an update. 🙂 I wish we could get a sneak peek at Sloan’s new big girl room!

  95. Kathleen says:

    Heavy sigh. Each time I discover a blog, a blog that is exceptional, some how or other the readership begins to grow expotentially.

  96. miss your updates! hope all is well in your world.

  97. Come back! We miss you!

  98. Miss you much…hope to hear from you soon <3

  99. Amazing photographs! So inspiring! Your blog is beautiful.


  100. Shannon says:

    Miss your blog posts. Come back soon please. : )

  101. stephanie russell says:

    Ditto…miss your blog posts! Will you be back soon?

  102. Those lemons are Hu-uge!!! never mind a green thumb, looks like you have all green fingers and toes! 😀 so many good things you can make with your harvest! My personal favorite is lemon marzipan cake!

  103. I am craving lemonade now. Your lemons are amazing!

  104. A great post with out doubt. The information shared is of top quality which has to get appreciated at all levels. Well done keep up the good work.

  105. What is the color on your cabinets? I am looking for a green for my kitchen cabinets & i love your color!

  106. The fruit is mostly on the bottom half of the tree, or perhaps the weight of the lemons just made it appear that way. To see more click here

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