Summer Solstice Newsletter

Celebrate the first day of Summer, June 20, 2020 at officially 5:44 p.m. EST 

June Issue 2020

Thanks for all the great feedback on the first newsletter. Hoping this finds all of you well and getting outside however you are able. I know our neighborhood has never looked spiffier since so many of us are doing more gardening. WEB-MD says you burn 200 to 400 calories an hour pulling weeds or planting flowers, so it’s a win-win. We love growing some edibles in our yard and have tried to add a new addition each year. This year citrus was the focus with this lovely Meyer lemon tree and we already have about 25 small lemon buds! Meyer lemons love full sun and humidity so our coastal NC climate is perfect for 3 seasons, that being said, they must be grown in pots in our area and brought inside to a shed, garage or in the house during the winter months.

They’re prolific fruit producers and you only need one to start, although having multiple trees will increase fruit production. The blossoms are fragrant and the fruit is sweeter than grocery store lemons, even the skins can be used in cooking. They can grow to be 8 to 10 feet tall but will mimic the container size they are planted in. The only other requirement for citrus is plant food. About $12.00 for a year’s supply. If you already have one or want to join in this venture let us know how yours are doing or any tips to pass on to others. You can always leave a comment on the website for us at


  1. Choose a sturdy, decorative container with holes in the bottom, one you won’t mind seeing in the house in winter. You should only have about 8 to 10 inches wider circumference than the original plastic container the tree comes in. If it’s too big, the tree can’t maintain proper moisture levels.
  2. Choose a sandy-based potting soil or add vermiculite to container bagged potting soil.
  3. Place the pot in an area that will get 8 to 10 hours of sun each day. These trees are the perfect complement to your deck!
  4. Fertilize the tree twice a month with a liquid fertilizer so it absorbs into the soil  between February and October.
  5. Bring the tree indoors when the temperature is consistently below 40 degrees.  

Essential Reads for container citrus gardening and such:

The Lazy Gardener’s Guide to Growing Citrus in Containers

By Trey Watson – Published in 2019. The title pretty much sums it up and it gets a 4.5/5 rating on “Goodreads.” We’ve ordered it for $14.99, free shipping, but it hasn’t arrived yet.

Lemon Zest: More than a 175 Recipes with a Lemon

By: Lori Longbotham  “Lori Longbotham has published many dessert cookbooks. She has a good writing style and clear, concise recipes with fabulous photos. You can find many of her books at for $5.00 to $10.00. We’ve long been fans of Thrift Books. They usually ship for free and are honest about the condition of the used books.

Preserved Lemons/ Lemon Roasted Chicken

Make these now for a great gift to add to a Father’s Day Grill Basket!

Preserved Lemons: 4 to 6 lemons per quart canning jar. Score lemons in a cross pattern, but only halfway down the lemon, so it stays intact. Add ¼ cup salt and ⅛ cup sugar to each jar. Fill remaining space in the jar with boiling water to ½” from the top. Fit and seal lids tightly. Allow to cool at room temperature, then store in the refrigerator. You can use it after one month but waiting at least  3 months truly increases the flavor. For variation, try adding a cinnamon stick, mustard or coriander seed.

Lemon Roasted Chicken: Pat a roasting hen dry. Put 1 whole preserved lemon and a large fresh sprig of rosemary in the cavity. Spray skin of chicken with olive oil, then squeeze juice of a second preserved lemon over chicken, salt and pepper. Bake chicken uncovered on 375 for approximately one hour until it is cooked thoroughly and golden brown. Goes well with basmati rice.

Picnic Corner

We’ll highlight another business or product we love that mixes well with living outside.

We’re sending you to Hampstead again this month because Pender Pines is the place we purchased our Meyer Lemon Tree; the mature tree was $98.00. If you’ve been before, you know it’s irresistible for plant lovers, if not, it’s worth the ride. The outdoor garden center has varied landscapes to walk through and gather inspiration and ideas, as well as; a small petting zoo, koi pond, emus, and wild bird sanctuary that houses parrots, macaws, parakeets and more. It makes an interesting but short field trip for kids of all ages. The staff is very knowledgeable and the plant offerings are superb and plentiful.

Pender Pines Garden Center                                                  20949 US Highway 17N Hampstead, NC 28443    910-270-2706

We wish you all the best the as summer arrives, Michele and Chris Pasch

Genuine Carpentry

1121 Military Cutoff Rd. Suite 154

Wilmington, NC 28405


Please keep us in mind for all your exterior renovations. We’d love to help you envision and build an outdoor paradise of your own!

Please note: We are not paid to advertise any business, person or product and do not warrant any of the products or businesses mentioned. Simply, we are sharing with you our family recipes and outdoor suggestions of the things and experiences we have enjoyed recently. We’ll still keep with snail mail, it might even burn 10 calories walking to the box!

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