Gardening, Cooking and Decorating on the Prairie of Kansas

Welcome to Linderhof, our 1920's home on the prairie, where there's usually something in the oven, flowers in the garden for tabletops and herbs in the garden for cooking. Where, when company comes, the teapot is always on and there are cookies and cakes to share in the larder.

Saturday, February 8, 2014


I've always had a fascination with citrus
Reading about "Orangeries"
Those magical places
Where citrus grows in winter

In 2004, when
Daughter Sarah and her Andy
lived in Ohio,
Friend Shirley Ann and I visited

And Sarah took us to

Kingwood Gardens
An Estate Garden
in a small town not far from there.

I was enthralled
But then I always am by public gardens

I would visit every one if I could
And when we lived in England that Spring,
we did visit a lot of gardens!

On that trip, they had a gift shop
and a greenhouse shop

I bought

A small orange tree
and at Smith and Hawken, a Guy Wolfe pot  to put it in

Ten years later . .  .

 The tree has grown!

And it has always been loaded with oranges!

The first few years, it was a struggle in the winter
But then we built the breakfast room
Which is the perfect winter home for not only the orange tree
But the other plants as well.

Orange is a favorite winter flavor
However, the orange tree is a 
Calamonda orange
A bitter orange
Which means that it isn't an
eating orange.

But we can enjoy the orange flavors of winter
with market oranges

Which make a good breakfast dish

Orange French toast
served with bacon
and a pot of freshly brewed coffee

I did find, however, that these oranges make great

I spent a day this week
making marmalade
Two jars 
the orange tree's oranges supplemented by market ones

The orange tree, however, lords over the breakfast table
As it has every winter since 2007
when we built the breakfast room.

It's Sunday and I'm joining The Tablescaper for Seasonal Sundays.


Sue/the view from great island said...

This is a beautiful tribute to one of my all time favorite things, citrus. I have made marmalade with bitter oranges and quite like it...and your little tree is amazing. We've just moved into a house with a huge grapefruit tree in the back, I feel blessed!

marilyn r said...

The oranges must fill the room with a lovely aroma. Sigh.

Libby said...

Oh Martha, what a lovely story and you are so lucky to have the orange tree..but also to have it so full of fruit each year. And marmalade is one of our favorite breakfast "foods"!

Thickethouse.wordpress said...

Oh, I wonder where your daughter lived in Ohio....I live in Bath.

Kingwood Gardens is about an hour from me and I go there quite often. It's an inspiring place. I love your orange tree......You can grow an eating orange from seed. When we rented a house in Florida which had citrus trees in the yard my grandchildren adored making orange juice with the fruit. And I love the fragrance of all citrus flowers. It never seems too much to me.

Canadian Chickadee said...

What fun! A friend who used to live in San Diego had a big lemon tree in her back garden. Every time I visited, I coveted it! The scent of the citrus is so lovely. Enjoy your marmalade and your tree. xoxox

lucy said...

Bitter oranges make for a great marinade for pork. Adding salt, crushed garlic, oregano and a little pepper your pork will be amazing
Love your little tree.


Beautiful breakfast setting,Martha, so warm and inviting! Citrus are the best and bitter oranges are fabulous for marmalades, they make the greatest ones, as my Mil used to make them! Awesome you have the tree too!


Alycia Nichols said...

When I read that those are "bitter oranges", I thought, "Wow...I wonder if you could make orange marmalade with them?" Well, you're just about a mile out in front of me!!! How cool that you made HOMEMADE marmalade! I love it on English muffins, but I've never attempted to make it (or any kind of jelly, jam or spread!) from scratch. Way to go!

I've never visited the Kingwood Gardens. I have, however, visited Powell Gardens over in Kingville, MO. I've still yet to visit the arboretum & botanical gardens over in Bucyrus, KS. We pass the exit every time we're headed to Pittsburg. Speaking of Pittsburg, my husband is there this weekend working at the urgent care clinic again. I elected not to go this time, otherwise I would have gotten in touch to see if you were up for a visit!

So glad you shared this! Enjoy that marmalade!!!

Thickethouse.wordpress said...

And has your daughter taken you to Stan Hywet Hall? If you are ever in the Akron area you really would love it, I think.

Pondside said...

I love the thought of an orange tree watching over a breakfast room all winter long. I'd like to carve out a few hours to make some marmalade this week - is it possible? The store-bought just isn't the same as homemade.

The Tablescaper said...

I'm amazed at the success you have with indoor citrus.

Thanks for being a part of Seasonal Sundays.

- The Tablescaper

Michelle said...

Love your orange tree! Had one many years ago, but I didn't do as well keeping it alive!

Anonymous said...

Wonderful tree and beautiful table. Love the way you have paired the oranges and the table setting.

GardenOfDaisies said...

It's a beautiful little tree. Oranges really are the perfect winter fruit! It's a tradition here at our house to have a bowl of fruit on the kitchen table for snacking. It's always oranges/tangerines during the winter holidays.