My daughter and I had a cheeky little G & T a few Friday evenings ago. Craft gin – tick, designer (and apparently sugar free) tonic – tick and now for the crowning glory – the lemon. While I lamented our failure to pick up lemons on our way home, she simply opened her bedroom window and plucked a lemon from a nearby tree positively groaning under the weight of its bounty.
That’s my sort of tree.
As I later wandered around her neighbourhood I spotted lemon and citrus trees absolutely everywhere. They looked fabulous and reminded me of why I like lemons so much – fresh, vibrant, zesty, zingy and above all a great designer look and motif.
According to the nibble.com, the exact origin of the lemon is unknown though many believe it has been grown in Northwestern India for more than 2500 years. Arab traders bought lemons to the Middle East and Africa in the first century, and after that the lemon spread – to Italy, then to Egypt and then to Mesopotamia.
Lemons were cultivated for food from around the 10thcentury, popping up in Spain in the 11thCentury followed by the Mediterranean and the rest of Europe by the 15th century. The Spanish spread lemons throughout the New World and the lemon never looked back. Californian lemons appeared in the 1750’s and in Florida around 1800 heralding the dawn of commercial lemoning and an explosion in the number of varieties. Think Meyer, Eureka, Lisbon, Femminello … a cultivar for every occasion.
Lemons have a unique place in history – as I discovered with my blog Oranges and Lemons . They’re said to contain all sorts of spiritual and medicinal properties but I am much more interested in their appeal as a pattern or motif.
I should start by saying the lemon is a strong, bold design and wrapping look – so it can be a bit overpowering.
I would definitely pair any wrapping with a lemon motif with a subtle embellishment. Lemon satin ribbon on a lemon patterned paper – too much already. Natural colours in natural textures work well as does something completely different such as a pavilion striped grosgrain in navy and white.
One of the looks I am loving at the moment is the lemon wrapping paper from The Art File.
They also produce lemon gift bags. I am not a fan of gift bags, but if I had to use one, I would choose one with a lemon pattern. I don’t mind their wrap with oranges either, although oranges say Christmas to me which isn’t entirely fair given dried oranges are more the Christmas vibe.
I am also loving beautiful wide abundant ribbons featuring lemons from May Arts. Yum yum yum – best used sparingly and with the plainest of papers – don’t want visual citrus overload.
I also am drawn to lemon ribbon – just the right shade of lemon not tacky cheapy garish yellow. I especially love a lemon pavilion stripe used sparingly and thoughtfully on crisp white gloss boxes and paper. I also don’t mind tying a lemon leaf into my bows – the scent is divine and the green colour looks wonderful. If only I had a lemon tree outside my own window, I could tie the leaves into wrapping while sipping a G & T all day long.