The Golden Circlet

All the good things in life

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Thinking About Lunchbox Trees

I’m plotting how to plant myself a lunchbox tree.

It’s the wrong time of year for gardening of all sorts, including the fantastical type, but even though the seed catalogs haven’t had their turn yet, it’s not too early to dream about a garden.

I know the boxes should be bright white, like these:

At least, the ripe ones should be. But they also need foliage, like any good plant. But the lunchbox tree bears fruit year round, so there should also be small green ones, unripe and empty of lunch. Probably there should also be lovely white paper blossoms, like so:

In my magical greenhouse, I cultivated this green, unripe lunchbox today. Maybe I can graft this one to an apple tree on the rail trail next summer?

Unripe Lunchbox
Here are some other visions I’m using for inspiration. From Giverslog:

The cupcake tree reminds me of General Jinjur’s cream puff bushes, and I would like to grow a cream puff bush, too. Would cream puffs be encased in parchment-papery shells, like ground cherries, do you suppose? Or would they fruit in the middle of winter, straight from long stems like winter roses?

L.Frank Baum’s world is chock full of magical trees and amazing orchards, and all of them are growing vigorously in my imagination. Check out the army of Oogaboo, for example, full of reservist soldiers — all named Jo — whose regular jobs include tending to orchards full of trees that grow apples, clocks, books, buns, ice cream cones, etc. Or Ozma, who gets dangerously transformed into a peach pit made of gold at the center of the only peach in Ugu the Shoemaker’s vast forest of fruit trees. I’d like to get some seeds from Tim Walker, because his dress tree must surely grow in Oz, and belongs in the orchard I am planning.

Then there’s the question of what would be growing inside the lunchboxes. L. Frank’s vision suggested standard box lunch fare — sandwiches, pickles, a slice of cheese. But surely hybridizers would have improved the fruit by now, don’t you think? I’ve always guessed Luxirare must have picked some of her creations from magical trees, like her bento box or her seafood squares or her trompe l’oeil avocados….

And everything from Made From Scratch’s Urban Garden Party seems like exactly something you’d eat in an Oz orchard, but especially these syllabub tulips:

I’m guessing that I may not be able to ape the very best of the hybridizer’s magical art, so the tree I’m growing may bear shrimp spring rolls and pocky. Or bagels and herring and lox. Something along those lines, anyway….